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Ceremony held at site of town's planned library

Officials told guests at a gathering at the Veterans Park location that a new $1 million facility should open in about two years

Officials told guests at a gathering at the Veterans Park location that a new $1 million facility should open in about two years

July 20, 2002|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

About 40 people gathered at Veterans' Park in Smithsburg on Friday to look at the future site of a 10,000-square-foot branch library.

Mary Baykan, director of the Washington County Free Library, said she anticipates construction of the library will start in about a year and that the building will open for public use in about two years. The new branch will replace the 1,096-square-foot library on East Water Street.

Friday's ceremony included speeches by Washington County and Smithsburg government officials as well as Washington County Free Library board members, volunteers and others.

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Smithsburg residents are ready for a new library branch and are prepared to help with fund-raising, Mayor Mildred "Mickey" Myers said.

"We're here. We're ready to go. We're excited. ... Let's roll," she said.

An architect's rendering of the library was unveiled at the ceremony.

The ceremony also marked the start of Smithsburg Pride Days. There will be events throughout the town today and Sunday. The Friends of Smithsburg Library will be selling items and taking donations for the new branch.

Among the items on sale will be a T-shirt Judith Ferro, president of the Smithsburg Library Board, wore to the ceremony that carries the message: "Friends of Smithsburg Library - Help Us Grow."

More than $500,000 has been raised toward the estimated $1 million cost of the new library, Ferro said.

Funds raised or pledged include a $50,000 grant from the Washington County Free Library, a $10,000 county hotel/motel tax grant, $200,000 over two years from the county and at least $120,000 in private donations, Ferro said. The donations include $105,000 from the estate of the late Arthur Jacques and the late Alice Sieck, who were once married to each other.

On Tuesday, Washington County Commissioner William J. Wivell of Smithsburg received permission from his fellow commissioners to donate a month's salary - $1,666 gross - to the library project. During the ceremony, Commissioners President Gregory I. Snook praised Wivell's donation.

Donations to the new library building can be mailed to the Friends of Smithsburg Library, P.O. Box 648, Smithsburg, 21783. Checks should be made out to Washington County Free Library/Smithsburg library, Ferro said.

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