Glenwood library is designed to fit in


January 06, 2000|By Diane B. Mikulis | Diane B. Mikulis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THIS YEAR, several construction projects will alter the western Howard County landscape.

The new Glenwood library, scheduled to open in the spring, will be part of Western Regional Park on Route 97, at Carrs Mill Road.

The 29,500-square-foot building is designed to fit into the existing landscape, which includes nearby farms.

Its main entrance is designed in the shape of a barn frame, a theme carried through the interior of the building. The interior will be an open space with furniture and shelving defining the sections.

A meeting room will be near the main entrance; the information desk, in the center of the library, will have a clear view of the children's area so staff members can keep on eye on things.

Landscaping will include an orchard and pastures with native grasses and wildflowers.

Western Regional Park is being designed, and construction is expected to start in the fall. Athletic fields, roads and walking trails will be built in the first phase, according to Gary Arthur, director of Recreation and Parks.

A combined recreation and senior center will be designed in 2002 and built in 2003.

A golf course will be designed for West Friendship in the summer, and Arthur plans for construction to begin in the fall. The course will be on 200 acres on Route 144, across from the fairgrounds. The project is expected to take 18 to 24 months to complete.

A name for the course has not been chosen.

In addition, we'll have two new bridges on our roads this year.

The Brighton Dam Bridge opened last week. The road has been closed since October 1998, so those who travel to Montgomery County regularly can now shave some time off the commute.

The bridge was constructed to replicate the appearance of the bridge in the 1940s. The county was able to purchase lights from the same manufacturer that provided the original lights.

The bridge will be maintenance-free, said Betsy McMillion of the Department of Public Works, and construction costs have come in under budget.

Those of us who travel to Columbia from the west are eagerly awaiting the completion of the Homewood Road bridge.

McMillion says it is expected to be finished in late spring.

The previous bridge was narrow and had weight restrictions. The new one will be wide enough to handle bicycle and motor vehicle traffic safely. It will be elevated to the 100-year storm level -- high enough to avoid flooding -- and will have no weight restrictions.

Homewood Road was closed in August.

New square

Clarksville Square on Route 108 -- a new commercial project -- is moving along well.

Seven buildings -- three retail and four stand-alone structures -- will be included in the project, said Rob Moxley of Security Development Corp.

The stand-alones will house a Wendy's restaurant, Citizens National Bank, Jiffy Lube and a separate car wash.

Look for Wendy's and Jiffy Lube to open in March.

In the retail buildings will be Pasta Blitz (a restaurant owned by the Strapazza chain), Robert Anthony Hair Salon, Merle Norman Cosmetics, Roots Market (selling produce and health food), a dry cleaner, insurance agency and dental practice.

Leasing manager Abby Glassberg expects most businesses to be open by summer.

"The leasing went better than anyone could imagine," Glassberg said. A few spaces are available.

Successful teens

The Glenwood Middle School PTA invites parents of middle-schoolers to a program, "What Teens Need to Succeed," from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Jan. 13.

Two sessions will run concurrently: "Discipline: What Works, What Doesn't," with speaker Larry Cohen; and "Boundaries: How to Set Realistic Boundaries for Teens," with a panel of teens and their parents.

Information: Brenda von Rautenkranz, 301-854-5582.

No water

Shortly after arriving at West Friendship Elementary School on Monday, staff members realized something was wrong -- there was no running water.

The buses were already on the way, said Principal Sandra McAmis, who quickly got the school system involved with determining the cause of the problem.

It wasn't a Y2K complication. The school's water tanks, which are filled by a well system, were empty.

As it turned out, the county fire department had used the hydrant in front of the school to fill tanker trucks for a training drill. The hydrant is connected to the school's water tanks for emergency use only.

School officials quickly sent bottled water for drinking to the classrooms. And they sent a team of maintenance workers with containers of water to fill the school's toilets. The team spent the day ensuring that there would be no disruption for pupils or staff.

Everyone thought the tanks would be full by noon, McAmis said, but because they had been pumped empty, there wasn't enough pressure to draw water quickly from the well. School system officials contacted the Fire Department, and in the evening, a truck delivered enough water to restore the pressure.

Now the tanks are full, but everyone is still drinking bottled water, McAmis said, until the system can be tested to make sure the water is safe to drink.

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