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Library to use temporary spaces during renovations

August 24, 2010|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Washington County Free Library will open a temporary downtown site while its South Potomac Street branch is expanded, board President Art Callaham said Tuesday.

The library will use the first floor of the Susquehanna Bank building at 55-59 W. Washington St.

There also will be a temporary branch in the North Pointe Shopping Center, off U.S. 11, north of Hagerstown.

Under lease agreements, the library will pay $3,000 a month at each spot, Callaham said.

A $24 million renovation and expansion project at the library's main branch is expected to start in November and take 18 to 24 months.

Construction bids are due Sept. 22. It could take another month beyond then to select a contractor, Callaham has said.

Using the Susquehanna Bank building ensures that downtown patrons won't have to go far for library materials while the main branch is closed during the renovation project. Callaham said the board promised a convenient temporary downtown branch.

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It's not clear how many square feet the library will have in the Susquehanna building, but it will use most of the first floor, according to Callaham.

In recent months, the bank moved its tellers into a small room near the front door. Banking in that area will continue while the library uses the building, Callaham said.

He said the library will start moving some of its collection and the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts collection to West Washington Street in early October.

The Susquehanna building also will be the temporary home of the Western Maryland Room, which many people use for genealogy research, Callaham said.

At about the same time, the library will move part of its collection to North Pointe Shopping Center and will move other materials to the Phoenix Color building west of Hagerstown.

The library's administrative offices will be at the Phoenix Color building, too.

The bookmobile will move materials between the temporary locations for patrons who request them, Callaham said.

Library officials plan to talk more about the project and a capital campaign Wednesday at a reception at the South Potomac Street branch.

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