Home > Gadgets > Cumberland Times-News – South Cumberland Library may be renovated

Cumberland Times-News – South Cumberland Library may be renovated

Published: December 10, 2009 11:46 pm      print this story

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South Cumberland Library may be renovated

Kevin Spradlin
Cumberland Times-News

CUMBERLAND — An architectural firm from Baltimore has deemed the 27-year-old South Cumberland Library building on Seymour Street to be “sound” and is recommending renovating the existing structure for the Allegany County Library System’s next planned capital project.

John Taube, library system director, said Wednesday during the monthly board of trustees meeting that options Murphy and Dittenhafer Inc. were able to consider included relocating and constructing a new building.

The feasibility study, which Taube said was about halfway complete, indicates the building has “served the library system well” for nearly three decades.

The study notes that the library system would “get the biggest bang for our renovation dollar by staying in the building at that site,” Taube said.

Board members Jeff Getty, Mary Jane O’Rourke, Sandy Grandstaff, Bill Bingman and Barbara Leasure endorsed the idea of allowing the firm to complete the study based on the notion the current building would be renovated.

“I’m glad we’re able to stay there and utilize that facility,” Getty said.

O’Rourke agreed.

“It means a lot to that community,” O’Rourke said.

Taube said the South Cumberland branch has the largest walk-in patronage of any of the system’s six fixed branches across the county.

Getty noted that the decision to renovate an existing building could “give us greater bargaining power for dollars we’re spending.”

That’s important, Getty said, because the library system’s two primary funding sources — state and county governments — aren’t likely to increase funding in the near future.

In fact, Getty said, “there may not be any public money for a long time” for building any new facilities.

Branch Manager Nora Drake and Larry VanMeter, facilities coordinator for the library system, first met with Taube and representatives from Murphy and Dittenhafer on Oct. 29.

The meeting consisted of a tour of the facility, an explanation of some concerns noted by library staff and described programs and functions of each room in the building as well as the volume of services.

The study could be complete and ready for presentation at the board’s next meeting, scheduled for 4 p.m. Jan. 13.

Contact Kevin Spradlin at kspradlin@times-news.com.

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