Frederick County Considering Second Site For West End Public Library

It’s located within the Westside Regional Park.

Frederick, Md (KM) A second site has been offered to Frederick County for a new public library in the west end of Frederick. During her public information briefing on Monday, County Executive Jan Gardner says the County is interested in one of three sites being proffered by Frederick Mayor Michael O’Connor. It’s located in the Westside Regional Park, near where some sports fields are planned.

She says the County would like  a five-acre site where it can build a 15,000 square-foot building with parking. “We want to make sure that library staff and patrons will be able to park at the library on days  when there sports tournaments being held in the park in the nearby fields,”  she says.

The County is looking at converting the Prospect Center at Himes Avenue into a library.  . Gardner says there is already 15,000 square feet, along with plenty of parking for patrons and staff.

Funding  has been included in the current fiscal year’s budget for design work at the Prospect Center, with construction set to begin in fiscal year 2025. Gardner says if the County takes up the City’s offer, it could delay the library by a few years. “In order to maintain the original timetable, the County needs  an additional  $3.6-million to construct a new building and a parking lot, components that are not needed to renovate the existing Prospect Center location,  where we already have a building and a parking lot,” she says.

“So if the Mayor and Board of Aldermen wish to maintain the current timing for the library branch, we’re asking the City to consider contributing that needed $3.6-million dollars,” Gardner continues. .

During a previous community meeting, Gardner says a number of people asked that a new library for the west side of the city be located near Butterfly Ridge Elementary School, and be within walking distance.

If the new library is located within the Westside Regional Park, Gardner says it could set back the construction of a new library by several years. . “In this circumstance, we’d like to consider the possible establishment of temporary library services at the Prospect Center. Library services could be provided in that area sooner,” she says.

A community meeting on where to place the library will be held on Wednesday, November 16th at Hillcrest Elementary School beginning at 6:00 PM.

By Kevin McManus