Baltimore County officials again are looking for a minilibrary site in the Loch Raven area after concluding from a cost analysis that it would be prohibitive to renovate space in a former school.
Officials said the projected $800,000 to $900,000 cost for room renovations and other modernization in the 1945 Loch Raven Elementary School was too steep to proceed with a library there.
"It makes no sense to put that into 3,000 to 4,000 square feet," said Robert J. Barrett, special assistant to County Executive C. A. Dutch Ruppersberger.
Instead, the county is looking at several sites in the area, focusing on the commercial corner of Loch Raven and Goucher boulevards and Taylor Avenue, near four shopping centers.
"We could possibly lease space in the next week or two," Barrett said of the scaled-down library, which would be staffed mainly with volunteers. "The good news is if we find space for a minilibrary, we can complete it in 60 days."
The county also hasn't ruled out using the former Loch Raven Library building on Taylor Avenue. That branch closed in 1993 because of budget cuts. "It's not off the table," Barrett said.
Previously, Ruppersberger had said no county space was available into which current tenants of the former library site -- a health center and county Department of Social Services Child Advocacy Center -- could be moved.
At a packed meeting in January, many residents expressed interest in relocating a full-service library at the old library site. Last fall, they organized a letter-writing and petition-gathering campaign to show their support for the return of a library in their neighborhood.
Ruppersberger, citing budget restraints, said he could fund only a smaller, volunteer-staffed library.
Pub Date: 6/11/97