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Home Stretch

By Staff | May 4, 2017

Chronicle photo by Vanessa McGuigan A library book “thermometer” is shown to mark the progress of the Shepherdtown Library’s $2.95 million goal.

The Shepherdstown library unveiled a redesigned concept drawing of the multi-million dollar proposed new library building last weekend.

Library patrons and would-be patrons were invited to an open house to see drawings, take a virtual tour, and speak with the architect, while children could make their own library design out of legos and play with balloon animals.

The event marked the transition from private to public fundraising for the project.

“This is the public phase of the fundraising right now,” said library director, Hali Taylor. “We’ve been in a silent phase this whole time; that’s how we raised all the money-from private donors. And now we’re going public and asking the people to help us reach our goal. We have a fundraising committee and we have a bunch of ideas, but we’re just getting started. We are at 2.35 million right now and our goal is 2.95.”

Taylor said the objective is to raise the rest of the needed money by December of this year, with building to begin next year and an opening date in 2019.

Library officials believe a new, larger library will help increase membership and visitation. Plans include an increase in space, from the 2,000 square feet at the current facility to over 10,000 square feet at the new location. Additionally, there will be a multi-use common room, a private meeting room for small community organizations, large children’s area, reading garden and ample parking.

The new library design might look different to people who had seen previous mock-ups. That’s because the design has changed within the past month, according to lead architect, Jessica Damseaux of the Alexander Design Studio in Ellicott City, Maryland.

“We redid the design to make it a one-story, mostly for cost-to bring the budget down. Also, it helped functionality to have the children’s area on the same floor as the adults,” said Damseaux. “We liked it at first but then as the reality of cost of elevators hit, it made more sense to rethink it. Now the footprint has expanded a little bit to make up for that. Before, it was a little bit more efficient of a footprint with two stories, but it does give us a bit bigger of a green roof with more area for solar panels.”

Library patron, and father of two, Zach Roberts said, “It will be great because it’s closer to our home in Shenandoah Junction. It will be easier than coming into town and trying to find a place to park. I can even play with the kids at Morgan’s Grove and then walk to the library. We can’t wait.”

The current library, quirky and beloved, is an iconic symbol of Shepherdstown and will remain in use at the 100 German Street location for the foreseeable future. Plans are to offer the current services and also have a space dedicated to genealogy and local history at that location.

Contributions can be made in person or online at www.lib.shepherdstown.wv.us/. Amazon online shoppers can also donate through smile.amazon.com. For more information call 304-8786-2783.