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One Step Closer: Town dedicates $50K to library construction fund

By Staff | Aug 11, 2017

Chronicle photo by Toni Milbourne The “book thermometer” marks the progress of funds raised by the Shepherdstown Public Library for their new facility. An allocation by the town Monday will join other donations to allow three new spines to be painted.

With a unanimous vote of council members present Monday evening, the group voted to allocate $50,000 toward the construction phase of the new Shepherdstown Library. The vote garnered no discussion and was over in a matter of seconds.

Library Director Hali Taylor stood to offer a few words of thanks to the town, sharing that the finance committee members and library representatives had been working together to answer all questions that had arisen at a past town council meeting regarding town funding.

“We really appreciate your faith in this project and your help in seeing it move forward,” Taylor said.

Following the vote, Taylor indicated that the one-time donation by the town to the capital fund will help reduce the total still needed on the multi-million dollar project down to approximately $500,000.

The Shepherdstown library unveiled a redesigned concept drawing of the multi-million dollar proposed new library building in late April. Taylor said that the latest concept drawing is the third one in the process of moving toward the newer, larger facility.

“This is one we think is the perfect one,” Taylor said. “It is the most efficient with two stories.”

The building will consist of 5,600 square feet on each of the two floors, with the children’s area on the first floor and the adult section above.

The project, which has been ongoing for several years, began with the securing of land behind the Clarion Hotel and Conference Center. Once a dump site, remediation of the site has been complete and a fundraising drive ongoing to secure the funding for construction of a library that can better serve the Shepherdstown area.

A silent phase of fundraising had been ongoing, Taylor recently said; however, now the public phase is in progress.

“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 in May.

She continued by saying at the public kick-off in May that 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 library fundraising committee has planned a golf tournament in the near future. In addition, any and all donations may be made at the library at any time.

To help keep the public abreast of the fundraising efforts, a “book thermometer” is stationed outside the library at 100 German St. Each spine of a book in the stack currently represents $20,000 raised.

Taylor, and board member Libby Sturm said Monday evening that with the contribution of the $50,000 from the town, added to some additional donations that have come in, four more spines of books can now be painted, signifying another $80,000 toward the project.

Plans for the current library are still in discussion, but the goal is to continue to use the location for the near 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 to the capital fund at www.lib.shepherdstown.wv.us. Amazon online shoppers can also donate through smile.amazon.com. For more information call 304-876-2783.