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New library plans continue

By Staff | Sep 16, 2011

As plans for the new Shepherdstown Public Library still continue to be hashed out, Library Director Hali Taylor said community members are contributing more than ever.

Taylor said in project steering committee meetings, discussions with citizens resulted in a programming document to inspire the conceptual design of the building. From this design, architects will be able to determine the building’s square footage.

“We’re going to have to crunch the numbers to see what that’s going to cost,” she said. “We’ll compromise to the point to get what the community can afford and what’s affordable.”

Taylor said there are some recurring themes in what community members would like to see in the new space. Natural light and materials, sustainable features, a community meeting room and an emphasis on early childhood learning are ideas she has heard at multiple meetings with locals.

Taylor said the conceptual design will be presented to the Library Board at its meeting at the end of the month, on Wednesday, Sept. 28, before it meets.

The library has also hired DeWitt and Associates, a capital campaign consulting firm out of Richmond, Va. The firm will assist in the fundraising aspect of the new library project as well as determine how best to approach the community in the process. A grants committee has been formed to work with the consultants in identifying the best grants to apply for for the project.

Taylor also said that State Senators Herb Snyder and John Unger gave the library $10,000 in community participation grants to put towards the cleanup of the site, which is set to begin in the spring.

And earlier this week, Taylor presented at the West Virginia Brownfields Conference in Morgantown as part of Stage II of the FOCUS Grant the library received for the project. Taylor presented on what has been accomplished thus far on the project – such as discussions of design and community participation – as well as what will be done with the grant money.