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Need to address issue with vision

By Staff | Jun 15, 2012

After living in Shepherdstown for 23 years, I hwas finally compelled to attend a Town Council meeting. The subject which peaked my interest was the library. Of all the statements made at the meeting for and against the current library board plans, I was struck most by the words: “A comprehensive plan for our community.”

Are we interested in a comprehensive plan for our community or a comprehensive plan for the library?

The Market Building has been non-functional as a library space for many years due to lack of space and inadequate parking. The library board was correct and was justifiably compelled to search for a new location for a library. I doubt that the brownfield would have been an optimum choice had there been another location available. Another location has become available within our town, the Southern States property.

Holes are opening within the fabric of our town. Vacant spaces which diminish our quality of life in a subtle way. Shall our downtown allow the course of other downtowns throughout the United States and become empty?

We all need to address these vacant spaces with vision. Vision would allow the downtown to remain viable. The Southern States property is one of the vacant spaces awaiting vision. Wouldn’t it be better to fill the Southern Sates with a new library complete with parking then let that space become something else which may be less desirable or even objectionable?

The Southern States property is one of the gateways into our community. The dance studio has families frequenting the Southern States area. How nice it would be for the parents and siblings of our young dancers to enjoy the library for the duration of the dance class.

Yes, the sound of the train can be loud. The sound of the train can also be music which sings of home. West Virginia history, commerce and a thriving economy. The railroad has been a life force for our country and should be embraced rather than dismissed.

The business community has been criticized for wanting to maintain a viable downtown as being individuals only interested in financial gain. The bisnesses which comprise Shephersdtown help create the wonderful thriving atmosphere that everyone enjoys. The businesses contribute to what makes our town uniquely Shepherdstown.

Once the library has relocated to its new location, I hope we can use vision to find the most appropriate use for our beloved Market House.

Genevieve O’Loughlin