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18330 Montgomery Village Ave, Gaithersburg, MD 20879
Whitman, Requardt and Assoc. LLP
Henley Construction Company Inc.
Montgomery County Government
Department of General Services
Division of Building Design and Construction
Project ManagerMariam Zarif (240) 777-6012
Project Status: Construction Phase
The construction period for Gaithersburg Library consists of two phases. During Phase I, the contractor will submit to the County contractual documents such as Construction Schedule, Quality Control Plan and Submittal Schedule for County approval. Once submittals are approved by the County, Phase II, which is the actual construction, will start. The total time for construction is expected to be 17 months after the start of Phase II. The construction contract was executed on October 14, 2011 and a Notice to Proceed with Phase I was issued to Henley Construction Company Inc. on October 19, 2011. The Notice to Proceed with Phase II was issued on December 19, 2011, foundation and footing work is completed, structural steel installation is completed. Roof installation is completed. Storm Water Management System installation is in progress, Interior Drywall Installation is in progress and the renovation is projected to be completed in Summer 2013 with re-opening in Fall 2013.
Renovate and expand the 33,726 gross square foot structure by adding a total of 27,745 gross square feet on the main level along the front, back, and sides and a partial second floor of approximately 7500 gross square feet that will hold the elevator, meeting rooms, mechanical rooms, storage, and a satellite office of the Gilchrist Center.
The project will include gutting the existing building and replacing the HVAC, lighting, electrical, plumbing, security, fire alarm, communications, roof and windows as well as redesigning the bathrooms to meet accessibility requirements. The library interior space will be reconfigured and program space for children’s services and young adult services will be expanded, as will the area for Internet computers and customer WIFI access.
A computer lab, media preview area, and program room will be added. Storm water management facilities will be added and the parking lot will be repaved. The building will be submitted for LEED Silver accreditation. A satellite office of the Gilchrist Center will be added on the new second floor to provide activities and services (for example legal clinics, citizenship classes, etc.) to the diverse community that uses the library and to function as a central point of contact for referrals to other County and community services. A meeting room that will accommodate 300 users but that can be subdivided in two for smaller groups will be part of the new second floor program space as will a smaller meeting room that will accommodate 100 users. An after hours reserve book locker type exterior pickup has been incorporated into the new design.
The current facility is more than 25 years old and looks dark and crowded because of the tall 84 inch high shelving, which obscures the natural day lighting as well as the fluorescent lighting used in the building. There are not sufficient tables and chairs to accommodate the hundreds of users daily who come to the library to do homework, read, research information, sign up for a computer, print documents and access the library’s online resources. Users sit on the floor and plug laptops into electrical outlets wherever they can find them, creating unsafe walking conditions. Staff works at a circulation desk that has been cited by the Risk Management Division as not meeting ergonomic design standards. Space is hard to monitor because there are no clear sight lines due to the tall shelving and the space arrangement. Temperatures and air circulation are uneven in many sections of the building in both winter and summer causing customer discomfort and complaints. Exterior lighting in the parking lot is inadequate resulting in concerns about safety of staff and customers who leave meetings late at night. Children’s staff competes with meeting room users for bookings for the meeting room because there is no dedicated program room for infant, toddler, and preschool programs.
Renovation of the current space and addition of more space on the main floor and on a new second floor will open up the floor and program space and allow the building to look lighter and more welcoming. Shelving will be lower, with the adult shelving at 66 and 78 inches and children’s at 42 and 66 inches, making it easier for customers to reach print materials. New furniture positioned next to electric outlets will allow customers to more comfortably access the Internet on library loaned as well as their own personal computers. More lounge chairs, reading tables, and reading chairs will give those coming to the library a place to do their work. Additional group study rooms will accommodate the increased number of learners who request a place to work together. A computer lab and increased numbers of Internet PCs in a designated area will reduce the number of customers who have to wait hours to access a library computer. Children will have an expanded space for browsing books and doing homework as well as designated program room connected to the children’s room. Parents and caregivers will have a designated space to park strollers. Staff will work at service desks that are ergonomically designed. The library will be zoned and climate controlled so that temperatures are more even and predictable. Interior and exterior lighting will be upgraded and security cameras installed to monitor activities at all times the library is open (and closed).
The estimated population of the area within a three mile radius of the library is 104,227. There are currently 70,372 cardholders within the 8 zip codes assigned to Gaithersburg. While there will be some increase in users after the library reopens from renovation, the project is intended to better, and more efficiently serve the existing customers rather than expand the number of visitors. Gaithersburg is currently one of the busiest library branches in the Montgomery County Public Libraries System.
Links Of Interest
Division of Building Design and Construction - Department of General Services
11th Floor, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville MD 20850