Click the picture below to check out recently added panoramic images of the building construction progress!
As you can see by the two pictures at the right the Central Library is rapidly being deconstructed. Work has begun on removing the existing roof and demolishing the northwest corner. We are hopeful that the new exterior of the library will be in place by the end of 2011. Local residents have complemented Dustin Construction for handling noise and waste issues favorably and they continue to work diligently to keep these disruptions to a minimum.
A project this size has many facets: scheduling work and deliveries to keep the workers busy, planning around local utilities schedules, consideration of the neighborhood with regards to noise, traffic, and safety and taking into consideration the 1914 Maryland Roadside Tree Law! County Public Works staff is working closely with Dustin Construction to ensure that this project is successful for all parties concerned.
Little known fact: When building the columns in the current library (1964) cement had to be hauled up by buckets and poured into the framework by hand. Today machines are able to do it quickly and safely.
Things are moving fast! Yesterday, our colleague Julie took this picture of the building with the back wall gone, and this morning the Herald-Mail website reports that Antietam Street is temporarily closed for removal of the other walls. Here are a couple other photos showing what things looked like this morning.
As we’ve mentioned, the early stages of the project will mostly involve interior demolition, so you won’t see any dramatic changes from the street for a while, but here are a couple photos showing what the inside of the building currently looks like. The crews have been working fast — notice the bare ceiling and remember how many fluorescent fixtures were up there.
It’s official – work on the new library will begin Monday, Feb. 7. Today’s Herald-Mail has a good story all about it. As our Director, Mary Baykan, says, “It’s really the beginning of a marvelous asset for Hagerstown and Washington County.” From what we’ve heard, not much may be visible from the outside at first – demolition will start with the interior. And if you were hoping for a chance to see a big implosion, that won’t be happening – not even a wrecking-ball. The framework and floors of the old building will be incorporated into the new, so demolition will be done methodically. In any case, even without explosions, it’s an exciting milestone for the library and for Hagerstown. Check back here regularly for updates, or subscribe using the RSS link at the right.
Now that the temporary branches at Downtown and North Pointe are up and running, you may have visited there and thought to yourself, “Where are all the books? There were thousands in the old library, and I only see a small portion of them here.” In fact, most of those books have gone into storage, but we can get them for you – just ask at any branch.
The new arrangements will take some getting used to, but we want to be sure all our customers can get the books (and audiobooks, and DVDs) they need. If there’s something you want that’s not on the shelf at the temporary branch, just ask us to get it for you, or put it on hold when you look it up in our catalog. Either way, it will be delivered to the branch of your choice within a day or two.