New Silver Spring library in the books for next fall opening -- Gazette.Net


This story was updated Oct. 18, 2013.

The new Silver Spring library’s construction is in full swing, with books expected to be on the shelves by late fall 2014.

The brand new facility is being funded by Montgomery County’s Capital Improvement budget and state grants, with a total cost of $69.5 million for the entire project, including land purchase, utility relocation, building constructions, furniture, new books and permit costs, according to the project’s website.

To support the new enhancements, the Silver Spring chapter of the nonprofit group Friends of the Library is organizing a free fundraising event from 5 to 8 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Silver Spring Civic Center with guest speakers Catherine Leggett, chair of the honorary committee of the Silver Spring Friends of the Library; Parker Hamilton, director of the Montgomery County Public Libraries, and Jim Polk, chairman of the friends fundraising committee. The group aims to raise $500,000 to help make the early literacy center, Digital Innovation Lab, and Connection Corner for elementary school-age children and families more dynamic and exciting.

During the event, officials will share a slideshow with pictures of the new library and unveil a model of the building. There will also be displays of what each learning lab will look like, and brief comments about the importance of a learning destination for the Silver Spring community.

“I think it is going to be a signature building,” said Ernest Lunsford, chief at the county’s division of building design and construction.

The facility will have approximately 63,000 square feet, and as stated on the library website, is intended to meet requirements of an increasingly residential and business-oriented community.

Lunsford said the new library at the corner of Fenton Street and Wayne Avenue follows the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards with a vegetative roof to deal with stormwater management, use of recycled content and material manufactured within 500 miles from the library, and energy efficient ventilation equipment.

“The structural engineering of this building is really sophisticated and it is going to look really nice; a piece of architectural art,” said Lunsford.

According to the library project website, the facility has a number of new features such as public meeting rooms, tutoring rooms, group study rooms, quiet study room, children’s program room and a computer lab.

The building has five floors plus a basement.

Lunsford said he believes its location was selected because it is on major bus routes, light railroad line, and metro making public access very easy. There will be two entrances from Wayne Avenue, and another from Fenton Street.

The project visualizes flexibility in the use of meeting rooms, and officials want spaces to be used in more than one way, while the major meeting rooms when not in use will be available for to the public with tables and outlets for general study. A coffee shop is also set to be open for business on the first floor.

The third floor will house media collections and the Disability Resource Center. The fourth floor is the area for adult collections and will have a quiet study room. On the fifth floor children will have an early learning area, program rooms and other meeting rooms.

It is still in discussion what is going to happen with the former Silver Spring library on Colesville Road, which is operating until the new facility is open to the public, but Lunsford said it should be repurposed for county projects.