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Plans unveiled to build two libraries in Berkeley County

August 04, 2006|by TRISH RUDDER

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Two public libraries planned for Berkeley County will be built at the same time, said Pamela Coyle, director of the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library System.

Coyle told the Berkeley County Commission on Thursday that the library in the Bedington area of the county will be built on two acres at the back of the more than eight acres donated to the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department by E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. in May.

Last month, the fire department offered two acres to the library system with a 99-year lease for $1, Coyle said.

The property is in the vicinity of the Fasloc Inc./DuPont site entrance off U.S. 11 between Bedington and Falling Waters, W.Va., Coyle said.

Tommy Newcomb, captain of the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department, said in a telephone interview Thursday afternoon that the rest of the area will become fairgrounds.

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He said there has been some confusion about a new fire station to be built on the front edge of the area. There is no fire station planned "anywhere in the near future ... at least 20 years," he said.

"Whenever a new station will be built, one in Marlowe (W.Va.) would be considered," Newcomb said.

A new library in Hedgesville, W.Va., will be on Mary Street close to W.Va. 9, and the architect is working on concept drawings, Coyle said.

She said both libraries will be about 4,000 square feet with two stories. The estimated cost for both libraries is $5 million plus an endowment fund that will be used to "address and maintain unforeseen expenditures," she said. The second floors will be for "future growth," Coyle said.

She told the commissioners the Library Commission has retained Platinum PR, a marketing and public relations firm in Shepherdstown, W.Va., to create a campaign fund to build the two libraries.

Coyle said a foundation will be created and she wants potential donors to wait until the tax status is in place before making contributions.

Platinum PR owner Sandy Sponaugle said the fundraising campaign will be part of the three-day 80th anniversary celebration of the library Oct. 13 to 15 in Martinsburg.

Coyle said the public will be updated on a regular basis, and "we will be back to the commission for more help," she said.

"We hope the Berkeley County Commission will be able to allocate additional funds when we have a clearer idea of what we need," Coyle said.

She said she hopes both libraries will be ready by 2009.

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