The future of the Anne Arundel County Public Library (AACPL) system looks brighter after a series of actions were taken earlier this month by County Executive Steven. R. Schuh and members of the County Council to improve and protect the county’s libraries.
On June 9th, the County Executive and County Councilman Chris Trumbauer announced a compromise in the size of the new Annapolis library, leading the way for a facility that will provide first-class services and resources to area residents.
The new Annapolis library will be built at 32,500 square feet, increasing its size over the current facility by 55%. The new library will cost approximately $24.2 million.
“We are pleased that a compromise has been reached to build the new Annapolis library at a size that will serve the needs of the community for years to come,” said M. Hall Worthington, Chairman of the AACPL Board of Trustees. “We applaud the County Executive, the County Council and especially Councilman Chris Trumbauer for their tireless commitment to the Anne Arundel County Public Library system and its customers.”
“I am excited this budget contains funding for new libraries in Annapolis and Riviera Beach,” said County Executive Schuh. “I thank the Library Board and Councilman Trumbauer for working with our administration to forge a compromise that strengthens the library system.”
“I’m pleased that we have reached a good compromise on the new Annapolis library and that this important project can move forward. Now we can turn our attention to the larger vision of enhancing our county’s library system as a whole, and meeting the 21st century needs of our county residents. I look forward to a collaborative discussion among the Library Board, the Council and the Administration,” Councilman Trumbauer said.
Additionally, on June 12th, the County Council approved funding of the County Executive’s proposal for a replacement library in Riviera Beach. The Riviera Beach library replacement will increase the size of the current building, opened in 1971, to 20,000 square feet from 10,500 square feet. The new facility is expected to cost $16 million.
The County Council, County Executive and library staff also identified savings in the library budget that will enable the library to remain open on Wednesday evenings.
“I heard from so many of my constituents that it was important to keep the libraries open on Wednesday evening. I’m thrilled we were able to work with the library system to restore the hours,” said Council Chairman Jerry Walker.
“I’m grateful to the County Executive and County Council for their vigorous support which enables us to not only remain open on a consistent schedule but provide even better service to the people of Anne Arundel County,” AACPL’s Worthington said.
Architect selection is currently underway for the new Annapolis Library project and community meetings will be held over the next six months to gain input from residents on the project’s design. Construction on the new facility is expected to begin in 2017. Construction of the new Riviera Beach library is slated to begin in 2018.