homepage logo

FOSL Community Gathering: Library reveals building plans, fundraising needs in meeting

By Staff | Feb 21, 2020

Alexander Design Studio architect Jessica Damseaux answers some audience questions, as Shepherdstown Public Library Director Hali Taylor, Skyline Architect Chuck Hydorn and FOSL President Robert Sisk listen, during the meeting in the War Memorial Building on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston

SHEPHERDSTOWN — Community members filled the War Memorial Building on Saturday night, for the Friends of the Shepherdstown Library Community Gathering. The event gave community members an opportunity to learn about the Shepherdstown Public Library’s building plans, with the help of two of the architects working with the construction of the building and its surrounding property.

According to FOSL President Robert Sisk, he saw that the cost of construction would be more expensive if one design firm worked on the entire property, so Alexander Design Studio will complete the design for the new library building, and Skyline will work on the surrounding land.

“We broke this down into two bid packages — one into the site, one into the building,” Sisk said, mentioning he has a background in estimating, which is why he encouraged the library to make this decision. “It will save the library money.”

The two-story library building will place the circulation desk and children’s department on the first floor, with the adult department on the second floor. The back door of the children’s department will lead children out into a gated-in amphitheater, a children’s story garden and a back patio with tables. Community spaces for meetings, a room for podcast recording, a computer room, private reading areas and a young adult section will all be found on the second floor. Instead of multiple-stall bathrooms, the building will feature single-service unisex bathrooms on both floors.

For adults who are afraid of being disturbed by the sound of children beneath them, Alexander Design Studio architect Jessica Damseaux said the building will be made to prevent that from happening.

FOSL Treasurer Sidney Lewis welcomes community members to the gathering in the War Memorial Building on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston

“We have a very sound-resistant floor between the two floors,” Damseaux said, with a laugh.

The building will be made with two main goals in mind–to be environmentally friendly and financially viable. According to Damseaux, that means that, among other things, the building will be well insulated on the outside of the structure and will use solar panels. These two decisions should ultimately save the library money on their energy and heating and air conditioning. The library will also include 42 parking spaces, with four of them being electric car charging spaces, and a bike rack, since the building will be easily accessible from the bike paths along Potomac Farms Drive.

The cost of the construction is still uncertain, as the library will have to advertise the project for bidding from construction companies. However, Taylor said the library has currently raised $3.3 million for the project, and will likely need $3.7 million to complete it.

“We’re going to have about twice the space for the Adult Department and Children’s Department,” said Children’s Department Librarian Tish Wiggs. “We will have significantly more space for books, so we won’t have to keep any of our books in storage anymore!”

For more information, visit the library or call 304-876-2783.

From left, FOSL President Robert Sisk, Skyline Architect Chuck Hydorn and Shepherdstown Visitors Center Director Marianne Davis talk about the library's construction plans, following the meeting in the War Memorial Building on Saturday night. Tabitha Johnston