County leaders and residents celebrated the reopening of the Reisterstown branch of the Baltimore County Public Library on Tuesday morning after the completion of a 14-month, $3.8 million renovation.
The renovated library, which first opened in 1961 with the former Franklin Academy, features a redesigned floor plan, an enclosed central courtyard, teen area, meeting room, a revamped children’s area and a digitization lab for preserving family photos or films, according to a news release.
After closing in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and undergoing a significant facelift, Baltimore County officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday.
“We are excited to share this transformed space, which has long been a community anchor and popular after-school destination, with our customers,” said library director Sonia Alcántara-Antoine in statement.
“This renovation allows us to provide much-needed space, energy efficiency and modern features, while respecting the historical integrity of the building,” Alcántara-Antoine said.
The $3.8 million project was funding by $2 million from the county’s capital budget, a grant from the Maryland State Library covering $1.05 million and $750,000 from the library system’s budget.
Johnson, Mirmiran & Thompson, Inc. (JMT) Architecture of Hunt Valley designed the space and North Point Builders carried out the construction, according to BCPL’s website.
Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski Jr. joined Alcántara-Antoine, Maryland Speaker of the House Adrienne Jones, and Danielle Akwara from the office of U.S. Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger to welcome the community back to the library at a Tuesday morning event.
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“Our public libraries are critical anchors for our children and families throughout Baltimore County and I am thrilled to celebrate this long-awaited reopening of this beloved branch,” Olszewski said in a statement. “This is an amazing day for the entire Reisterstown community, and we are excited to provide this state-of-the-art renovation which will serve our residents for years to come.”