The Montgomery County Department of General Services has selected Costello Construction of Columbia, MD to construct the Silver Spring Library. Costello is the same firm that constructed the Silver Spring Civic Center.
The library project is being constructed in two phases: Phase I, which was recently completed, included relocation of utilities and repaving of Fenton Street. Construction of the library will occur during Phase II, which will take about two years.
The new, 90,000-square-foot building will have five floors and a basement, with the library occupying the third, fourth and fifth floors. There will be two entrances into the building from Wayne Avenue, both of which will provide access to the library elevators as well as the rest of the building. An entrance on Fenton Street will provide an escalator and elevators directly to the library’s third floor. A public open space with both paved areas and green space will be at the corner of Bonifant and Fenton streets.
The footprint of the first floor is split by the right-of-way for the future Purple Line light rail, with a main building to the west and a “Pavilion” along Fenton Street. The building sections will join at the third floor.
Designed to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Silver standards, the building will have a green roof on the top level and on the roof of the entry pavilion, which will be visible from the fifth floor of the library. The green roofs will be used for stormwater management as well as reducing the “heat island effect” of standard roofs.
The third floor of the building will house library meeting rooms, the media collection, the young adult area, the disability resource center and the main circulation work area. The fourth floor will house the adult collections, group study and tutoring rooms, a computer lab and a large, quiet study room overlooking Silver Spring. The fifth floor will be the children’s floor with an integrated early learning area, program room, tutoring rooms and materials collections for preschoolers and for elementary age children. Computer workstations, seating and electric outlets will be located throughout the entire building.
The County is currently in lease negotiations with Pyramid Atlantic, a non-profit art group, to occupy part of the basement, first floor and second floor. The agreement will require the nonprofit to offer classes to the public in the second floor studio space. It will also require workshops and classes to be conducted for the library on a regular basis.
The first level of the building will feature an art gallery and store. A coffee bar is planned for the first level of the Pavilion facing Fenton Street and adjoining the future Purple Line station.
The County Council has approved $69,529,000 for the entire project which includes the purchase of the land, utility relocation and upgrades, building construction, furniture and equipment, security, telephone systems and computers, new books and media, consultant fees and permit costs.
For more information, see the County’s website.