Calvert Library contracted with Providence Associates, LLC in late 2016, to produce a Facilities Master Plan for the four libraries. Providence Associates is a library planning and consulting group. The 20-year plan is designed to provide a road map to ensure the Calvert library locations meet the needs of the 21st century. The study was funded 50% by a state grant and matching funds in the County Capital Improvement Project budget for 2017. The final report was approved by the Board of Library Trustees on August 8, 2017.
Carrie Plymire, Director of Calvert Library, presented the Facilities Master Plan for the libraries to the Calvert County Board of Commissioners (BOCC) at their meeting on September 19, 2017. Providence analyzed library usage and gathered input from those who visited the branches, along with suggestions for improvements. They also assessed the size of the facility based on current and future mix of services and collections. They determined the physical condition of each library.
During the assessments, collections of books, periodicals and other materials are sufficient but meeting spaces, study and program spaces are limited. The Twin Beaches Library needs to be replaced as the first priority. It is not ADA (American with Disabilities) compliant in the restrooms and in the aisles. The leased space at Solomons for the Interim Branch of the Southern Library is small and should be scheduled to be replaced in 2024. Fairview Library also has ADA issues and very little parking. It should be scheduled to be replaced in 2022. It was also recommended that the library bring back the mobile library, which was in service for a number of years. It serves rural areas well.
The Prince Frederick Library has several issues including heat loss along outside wall, draft from main door, and insufficient office and storage space. There is also limited parking, shared with several restaurants.
The combined cost for renovations and replacements is $5 million. Calvert County can now apply for state grants for the libraries.
Margit Miller / Calvert Beacon