Board seeks expansion of library

The adult and children's sections of the Eldersburg library both need to be enlarged, but library officials said last night they will settle for an expansion of the adult side if that's all the county can afford.

The Carroll County Public Library Board of Trustees voted unanimously to ask the county to pay for the $813,000 first phase, which would include 100 more parking spaces, in the fiscal year which begins July 1.


The board also voted that the children's expansion, which would cost another $626,000, should follow as soon as possible.

The board met last night in Westminster.


The expansion of the Eldersburg branch is the board's top priority in next year's fiscal budget. The 15,000-square-foot branch is the county's second-busiest branch, behind Westminster.

The board has proposed adding 5,000 square feet to the building to enlarge the adult section and renovating 5,000 square feet -- currently occupied by the county Health Department -- for a bigger children's section.

Earlier this month, the county Planning Commission asked if the project could be done in two parts because the Health Department has nowhere to move, Library Director Linda Mielke said.

Scott Reinhart, assistant director for library technical and support services, said it would cost more to do the project in two parts because architectural and engineering work would have to be done twice. He did not have a cost estimate on the increase.

Member Kathleen Campanella said an expansion of the adult section would relieve some crowding and make the staff's work easier.

Plans call for the library to be expanded toward Liberty Road, Mr. Reinhart said. The expansion would eliminate about 10 spaces in the current 50-space lot. A new parking lot would be built on county-owned land across St. Andrews Way from the library, he said.

The library would close for a week or two during renovations, he said. Planning and construction work for the project would take about 18 months, Ms. Mielke said.

The Planning Commission is considering the library's request and will make a recommendation to the commissioners in mid-December about whether it should be funded. The commissioners will make the final decision.