Commissioners Updated on Southern Branch Plan

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Commissioners Updated on Southern Branch Plan

Prince Frederick, MD - 3/28/2012

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By Marty Madden

Southern Library project manager Anita Jones
Southern Library project manager Anita Jones

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“I don’t want you to be sloppy but I want some sense of urgency.”

Commissioners’ President Jerry Clark tells staff to work on getting the Southern Library in Solomons ready to open before 2013.

Calvert County Government and Library officials provided the county commissioners with an update on the plan to convert a defunct Solomons grocery store into a library branch. The update was delivered during the county commissioners’ Tuesday, March 27 meeting. The board president made it clear that he does not want to see the project languish.

Last September, the commissioners approved a $947,000 budget adjustment for the retrofit project at the old Woodburn’s Food Market. The board subsequently awarded the design contract to Gant Brunnett Architects of Baltimore.

The library located in the vacated storefront would replace the current Southern Branch, which is located at Southern Community Center in Lusby. The county’s long-range plan is to build a new, permanent library branch within the Lusby Town Center.

The current Southern Branch is 3,250 square feet and serves 400 customers a day. The new branch in Solomons would be almost triple that size—9,200 square feet.

“It meets the needs of a modern, contemporary library,” said Calvert Library Director Patricia Hofmann, who explained the new location would have additional computers, a children’s area, study rooms and a “living room” for customers to use to enjoy the facility’s amenities.

Project manager Anita Jones said the new branch would have lots of colors for “pizzazz.” A lot of the interior will be highlighted by purple, the official color of the library system. The new Southern Branch will have a “nautical theme.” Additionally, windows on the north side of the store unit will be installed.

Hofmann added that the Calvert Library Foundation is conducting a capital campaign in order to purchase furniture for the new location.

“I’m glad you thought outside the box and it’s not real vanilla,” said Commissioners’ President Gerald W. “Jerry” Clark [R].

Jones said the construction project will be ready to go out to bid in June and the new branch should be ready six months after the work begins.

That latter estimate did not please Clark. “Let’s get this thing up and going,” said Clark. ‘Time is knowledge so let’s get it done. I don’t want you to be sloppy but I want some sense of urgency.”

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com



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