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Library thanks local supporters

By Staff | Jul 29, 2011

Patrick Kirby, the director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, in blue shirt at left, addresses attendees about the upcoming library project. (submitted)

The Shepherdstown Public Library held a reception July 19 at the Clarion Hotel to acknowledge all the people who helped secure a recent $200,000 federal grant to assist future development of a new library building.

The grant, from the Environmental Protection Agency, was announced on June 6. It will be used to clean up the new library site, which is a former town landfill.

Attendees at the event included County Commissioners Lyn Widmyer and Walt Pellish; Mark Dyck, president of Jefferson County Development Authority Board of Directors; Tom Bayuzik, the JCDA executive director; Alan Sturm, from the Jefferson County Board of Education; Shepherdstown Mayor Jim Auxer; Shepherdstown Town Council member Josh Stella; Shepherdstown businessman Ken Lowe, who chairs the West Virginia Infrastructure and Jobs Development Council; Shepherdstown Elementary School Principal Suzanne Offutt; members of the library Board; community volunteers who have been working on the new library project; and individuals who had signed letters of support for the grant.

Library Director Hali Taylor spoke about the continuing importance of libraries as community resources in the digital age.

JCDA Board President Dyck discussed the project from a county perspective, pointing out libraries are vital community assets that boost economic development by helping draw people and businesses to the area.

Patrick Kirby, the director of the Northern West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center, briefed attendees on the history and current status of the effort to clean up the new library site. The site will be officially entered into an EPA Voluntary Remediation Program this summer, concurrent with the signing of cooperative agreement between EPA and JCDA. Cleanup work on the site will begin next spring.

Charles Alexander, the principal architect of Alexander Design Studio, the firm preparing a preliminary design for the new library, spoke about the design process. He emphasized the importance of community input to that process and commended the town’s residents for their strong interest in the project.