Ground broken for library

June 04, 1996|By Tanya Jones | Tanya Jones,SUN STAFF

Officials broke ground on a $4.3 million Maryland City library branch in the Russett community yesterday, across Route 198 from the current branch in the Maryland City Plaza.

The ceremony was largely symbolic, because library officials still are working with architects to design the new building and have yet to select a contractor to build it.

"We did it to keep momentum going, because this project has taken such a long time," said library spokeswoman Andrea Lewis. "It's really been some time since the community has seen some movement on the project."

Area residents began lobbying library and county officials in 1994 to accept an offer of free land for a library that was first made by the developers of Russett in 1989.

"It didn't seem that the county was interested," said Laura Waters, a Russett resident who helped found Build Maryland City at Russett Branch Library.

The County Council and county executive approved nearly $300,000 in planning money for the project last year.

The existing library, a 3,675-square-foot storefront in the shopping center, is the smallest in the county.

The new library will have 12,000 to 14,000 square feet of space, the average size of a community branch in the county, and will house about 80,000 volumes, compared with nearly 37,000 in the storefront. The new building also will have a community meeting room.

The library should be complete in early 1998, Lewis said.

Pub Date: 6/04/96

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