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Architecture lecture addresses library, museum, financial center

December 12, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE | julieg@herald-mail.com

HAGERSTOWN — The new Washington County Public Library will have a three-story circular atrium, a children’s department three times the size of the old one, and a system that collects and filters rainwater from the roof so it can be used to wash the bookmobile, said Aaron K. House, project architect with Bushey Feight Morin Architects.

The new library was one of three buildings discussed Sunday during an architecture lecture at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.

A few dozen people attended the lecture, including Bob Regenold, who took advantage of the question-and-answer period to ask about parking at the future library. Regenold, 83, of Hagerstown, asked if parking for the new library was farther away than parking for the old library, which was right next to the building. Regenold uses a cane and said he also has a rolling walker.

There will still be some street parking, but most of the parking is farther away, House said. There will be 143 parking spaces, including seven close to the library for hybrid and low-emission vehicles, he said. Kathleen O’Connell, assistant director at the library, talked to Regenold and another man after the lecture as they continued to express concerns about the distance to parking.

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O’Connell said staff and handicapped parking is currently planned for the area where the former bus station canopy stands, across the alley from the back of the old library. But, O’Connell said, library officials will need to talk about the parking concerns.

Also discussed Sunday were the new courtyard atrium at the museum in City Park and the new Susquehanna Financial Center on Dual Highway. The courtyard atrium is expected to be done in the spring of 2011, said architect Frank Dittenhafer, with Murphy and Dittenhafer.

The exterior courtyard had a sloped floor, so rain went to a drain. The new floor will be about a foot lower, be level and contain radiant heating. The atrium’s glass roof will have a diamond pattern and be supported by eight free-standing columns, he said.

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