Office site considered for library Postal building under consideration for new headquarters; 'Good idea to explore it'; But structure has not been examined yet, an official says


Carroll library officials are evaluating whether the Westminster post office could house library headquarters when the U.S. Postal Service relocates next year.

The library's administrative offices are scheduled to move from Westminster to New Windsor as part of a major county government office shuffle over the next several years.

But some officials believe the library would be better served by maintaining central offices in Westminster. Plans call for its headquarters to move from County Air Business Center in Westminster to the old New Windsor Middle School. The county spends about $275,000 a year to rent space in the center for school and library offices.

"We feel the post office location would be ideal because of its central location and because of the loading dock for deliveries," said Ann Wisner, a library spokeswoman.

The Postal Service is moving to larger space in Englar Business Park near Wal-Mart. When completed, the 34,834-square-foot facility will be more than double the size of the existing building at 83 E. Main St.

Postal officials expect to award a building contract for the new facility by Oct. 1, said David Bradshaw, a manager of administrative services for the agency's Baltimore district. Construction is expected to take 12 to 14 months.

First option

The Main Street post office will be appraised and then placed on the market, said Vince Liberto, a facilities specialist for the Postal Service. Generally, local governments are given the first option to buy, he said.

Library officials haven't walked through the post office with an architect to see whether the 60-year-old building would be adequate, said Bob Sapora, library board president.

'Preresearch stage'

"It's a good idea to explore it, but we don't know enough about the project yet," he said. "We haven't looked at the building on a technical basis and we don't have enough of an idea about the other options to know whether we favor it. We're just at the preresearch stage," he added.

Those who favor the move to the post office may find support from County Commissioner W. Benjamin Brown, who has advocated maintaining public use of the building.

Brown, who is recovering from bypass surgery, could not be reached for comment last week.

Services undetermined

Meanwhile, Westminster officials have urged postal officials to maintain counter service downtown for customers who have been accustomed to walking to the post office.

Bradshaw said the agency hasn't decided what services it will maintain downtown, but he pledged that the Postal Service "will meet the interest of the community."

Thomas B. Beyard, Westminster planning director, said library administrators have assured city officials that a "storefront" post office could remain in the building without disrupting library operations.

Shuffling offices

Relocating administrative offices to Main Street would benefit both the five-branch library system and downtown shops and restaurants, Beyard said.

He noted the library's Westminster branch is just a block from the post office.

As part of the county office shuffle, the Board of Education central offices will move from the Courthouse Annex at 55 N. Court St. to an expanded Winchester Building at 125 N. Court St.

Some county government offices will go into additions at the County Office Building at 225 N. Center St.

Pub Date: 8/12/96

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