Library board proposes three new branches Expanding one in Eldersburg is top capital budget priority

July 30, 1993|By Kerry O'Rourke | Kerry O'Rourke,Staff Writer

Carroll County Public Library officials don't want some residents to have to drive so far to read or do research.

The library Board of Trustees has proposed opening branches in the New Windsor/Union Bridge area, Sandymount and Silver Run.

The county has branches now in Westminster and the four corners of Carroll -- Taneytown, Greenmount, Eldersburg and Mount Airy.

"Now we have to start thinking about those people in between," board President Martha Hankins said.

The board approved a proposed capital budget at its meeting Wednesday night that lists seven priorities for fiscal years 1995 to 2000. Fiscal 1995 begins next July 1.

The priorities are:

* Expanding the Eldersburg branch. This also was the top priority in the current fiscal year. The current 15,000-square-foot building was built 10 years ago and is the county's second-busiest branch, behind Westminster.

The board proposed adding 5,000 square feet to the building and taking over 5,000 square feet now used by the county Health Department, Ms. Hankins said. The project would cost about $1.7 million.

The county commissioners had budgeted to build the addition in fiscal 1997, which begins July 1, 1996. The library board wants them to do it a year earlier.

Circulation at the Eldersburg branch increases every year, said Scott Reinhart, the library's assistant director for automation, support and technical services.

In fiscal 1990, 606,606 items were checked out of the branch, compared with 686,920 items in fiscal 1993, which ended June 30, he said.

* Building a New Windsor/Union Bridge branch, which would cost about $1.7 million, in fiscal 1996.

The board proposes a 4,200-square-foot library that would hold 28,000 books and have room to seat 65 people, Ms. Hankins said.

The board is studying whether the county could buy modular buildings for this branch and for the branch proposed for Silver Run, she said.

Mr. Reinhart said he has seen libraries made by Modular Systems Inc., which has a sales office in Washington.

"They are fairly modern buildings with a lot of glass. There's more glass than masonry on the outside," he said. "They really are quite attractive."

The modular buildings are not cheaper than traditional construction, but the buildings can be assembled more quickly, can be added to more easily and can be moved, he said.

* Opening a library in Sandymount in rented space, which would cost $163,600, in fiscal 1995.

The board would like to open a branch in a storefront and use it for about five years until a permanent branch is built, Ms. Hankins said.

The board proposes building a Sandymount branch in fiscal 1999 for $6.2 million, she said.

Officials likely would build a new headquarters for the library system at the Sandymount location the same year, she said. The headquarters now is in rented space at the Air Business Center. A new headquarters would cost $5.1 million.

* Building a Silver Run branch in fiscal 1997 for $920,900.

The branch would cover 1,600 square feet and would hold 14,000 books and seating for 32 people, Mr. Reinhart said.

* Expanding the Westminster branch in fiscal 2000 for $3 million.

The expansion of the system's largest branch is the last priority because opening a Sandymount branch would ease overcrowding in Westminster, Ms. Hankins said.

The library board's proposed budget will be submitted to the county Planning Commission, which will make recommendations to the commissioners.

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