Residents list top priorities for future Spring Mills library

September 24, 2006|by MATTHEW UMSTEAD

SPRING MILLS, W.Va. - Children's programs, local history displays and materials, and a "green" building design are among the top priorities that a group of northern Berkeley County residents wants at a proposed branch library off U.S. 11.

Though construction of the building is far from beginning at the donated two-acre site north of DuPont Road, Martinsburg-Berkeley County Public Library leaders Pamela Coyle and Margaret Demer, along with the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle's Trina Bartlett, hosted the first in a number of public meetings for the project on Tuesday.

"There's always going to be limitations," Coyle told about 20 people gathered for the meeting in the library at Potomack Intermediate School.

After compiling the dozens of suggested services and building features, residents were asked to place red dot stickers on what they viewed most important.


Interest in children programming and a computer room with privacy for youngsters each received eight votes, Devotion to local history and an outdoor community and reading area each garnered seven votes. Among the features that received six votes were wireless computer service and space for community and local history rooms.

Coyle said fundraising is expected to begin in earnest next month, but the project was jump-started in July when E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. announced the donation of nine acres to the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department, which then regifted up to two acres for the library.

Library officials are expected to establish a fundraising account with the Eastern West Virginia Community Foundation, and also are taking steps to establish a foundation for the library system itself, Coyle said.

Unlike the library system's current board of directors structure, Coyle expects the yet-to-be-created foundation's board to be comprised of residents from all parts of Berkeley County.

State law dictates that the current system board only be comprised of Martinsburg residents, a framework Coyle said is outdated and that she would like to see changed. Other county library leaders across West Virginia, however, are not necessarily agreeable, she said after the meeting.

Coyle said the size of the building likely will be a reflection of how much money can be raised, beginning on Oct. 13 at the 80th anniversary banquet, but residents appeared unanimous in suggesting the branch be constructed for future expansion.

Coyle said library officials also are trying to determine how to honor the Bedington Volunteer Fire Department's request to recognize DuPont for the land donation.

Fire department officials were agreeable to naming the future road in honor of the company, but DuPont Road already exists, and Coyle said he didn't think emergency officials would sign off on a similarly named thoroughfare.

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