Our new much larger library and resource center will be located on 4.5 acres of brownfield land adjacent to the Clarion Hotel off Route 480.  Before work began at the site, sufficient funding for land remediation was secured through federal and state grant funding and the generous support of local area foundations and residents.  The services of Snyder Environmental Services and Triad Engineering were then contracted to perform cleanup and monitoring of the new library site.  Our Brown-Breaking celebration was held on May 9, 2013, and removal of actual waste and contaminated soil began in early June.  The final load of contaminated dirt, trash, scrap, and other miscellaneous junk was hauled from the new library site in early September 2013, and Triad surveyors began preparing the numerous grids necessary for the post-cleanup soil sampling.


At our final remediation meeting onsite in March 2014, we met with Jeff Mitchell of Triad Engineering, Jason Gerhart of William H. Gordon Associates, and Patrick Kirby of the West Virginia Brownfields Assistance Center to discuss project wrap up.  The final phase of site remediation – grading and seeding – is now complete; the Risk Assessment report was submitted to the WV Department of  Environmental Protection; and the official Certificate of Completion was received in December 2014.


In January, Shepherdstown Public Library requested the Town Council to adopt a Resolution in support of the new library project. Specifically, we requested the Town to:


  fully support the efforts of the Shepherdstown Library Board of Directors to finance, construct and

    equip a new library facility at the site donated by the Town of Shepherdstown;

  encourage the Shepherdstown Library Board of Directors in their efforts to complete the new

    library as soon as possible; and

  commend the project to the citizens of this area for their financial support.


At its meeting on Tuesday, February 10, Director Hali Taylor made a presentation to the Town Council and those in attendance at the meeting, and our official resolution was presented to the Council for its approval.  We are pleased to report that the Town Council has unanimously passed our Resolution, as written.


In March 2015, land title transfer was completed when ownership of the 4.5 acre site was officially transferred to the Shepherdstown Public Library Board of Trustees.


On Saturday, April 18, 2015, an outdoor event was held on the site of the planned new library and resource center to celebrate completion of site cleanup and receipt of the official Certificate of Completion. The celebration was open to the public, and many of our library supporters were in attendance.  Our celebration was made possible by our event sponsors:  Alexander Design Studio, Snyder Environmental Services, Inc., and Triad Engineering, Inc.


Pictured above, left to right:  Jessica Damseaux (Senior Associate, Alexander Design Studio), Jason Aufdem-Brinke (Trustee, Nora Roberts Foundation), Elizabeth Sturm (Library Board President), Hali Taylor (Library Director), Lynn Shirley (Library Campaign Committee Co-Chair), Alan Sturm (Interim Superintendent, Jefferson County Board of Education), Patrick Kirby (Director, Northern WW Brownfields Assistance Center), Jeff Mitchell (Environmental Services Manager, Triad Engineering, Inc.).  Pictured right:  Jim Auxer (Mayor of Shepherdstown) and Hali Taylor (Library Director) and Delicious Chocolate Sheet Cake with Green Frosting.


Charles Alexander and Jessica Damseaux of Alexander Design

Studio have been working with library staff and our Board of

Trustees throughout all phases of our project to produce a

series of conceptual designs consistent with the architectural

landscape of our community.  We have now engaged the

services of William H. Gordon Associates to prepare a site

development plan designed to launch the next and essential

phase of our project.  We are coordinating our efforts with

adjacent property owners with planned developments to

collectively manage site requirements, such as storm water

management and road/sidewalk access.  Such collaboration with our neighbors is not only good business practice, but should also yield a shared and significant cost savings as our respective projects are developed and built.



The Shepherdstown Public Library is responsible for serving one third of the population of Jefferson County comprising approximately 18,000 residents.  Our current library, consisting of 2,000 square feet, is less than 16% of the square footage necessary to meet the needs of our community – a community that recorded a 25% increase in population from 2000 to 2010.            


Our library collection is at maximum capacity and cannot be expanded within the space available.  Accordingly, we are extremely limited in the scope of new materials and media we are able to introduce into our existing body of works.  Our physical limitations make it impossible for us to grow with the population, and our current services are compromised by lack of accessibility.  Additionally, the widespread unavailability of parking in Shepherdstown severely limits public access to our library for any patrons who reside in areas beyond reasonable walking distance.  Currently, one 15 minute parking space has been designated for library usage.


Community Benefit

Initially, our project will target and benefit the local Shepherdstown community in that we will provide the town with the opportunity for adaptive salvage of property that is current unusable.  Over the longer, term, our targeted communities and intended audiences will expand to all Jefferson County citizens who take advantage of the free materials and resources that a public library affords.


The quality of life throughout Jefferson County will dramatically improve through a phased library design that will allow for expansion consistent with population growth.  The initial design of our new library and resource center was developed based largely on input from our residents and includes a multi-use meeting room for community use and over 12,000 square feet of ADA compliant space to accommodate more than double our existing collection, greatly enhanced technology, and increased library programs.


New Shepherdstown Public Library - Concept Drawing


Construction of the new library will benefit all citizens living within the Jefferson County boundaries and beyond.  The new library will serve to strengthen our community in that it will provide the space required to function as a true community center for our residents and will allow for more and exciting programming and events.  The new facility will be totally accessible in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and will feature the enhanced technology needed for a 21st century library.  Some exciting new highlights of the new library include increased floor space from the current 2,000 to approximately  12,000 square feet; a Community Room designed to serve as  a reception area and featuring two gallery walls where local artisans will be encouraged to showcase and sell their works; a separate and private meeting room for small community organizations; a second floor dedicated almost exclusively to children’s learning and activities; a beautiful and contemplative Reader’s Garden where patrons can enjoy the simple pleasure of quiet reading; a solar rooftop along 1,800 square feet, combined with a smaller section of living roof, both essential to our commitment to green building; expanded computer work stations to meet underserved demand; and a parking area sufficient to serve our growing population.


A new, much larger library will also benefit the community via increased membership and visitation.  Heightened library traffic will benefit the local economy of our community – the greater the number of patrons our new library brings to the community will exponentially increase potential sales and revenue of local area businesses.


Site Plan


Construction of the new library will increase the walkable area from downtown Shepherdstown.  For vehicular patrons, the new library will feature a free parking area with a capacity sufficient to service the needs of library visitors during peak daytime hours.


  Entry View, Southwest Corner


Market House

We also plan to maintain a presence at our current location in the heart of the Shepherdstown district.  For the foreseeable future, we will continue to offer all the services a public library affords and plan to introduce a space dedicated to genealogy and local history at the historic Market House site.  Our two locations, one modern and urbane and one rich in tradition, will appeal to the spirit and character of our diverse population.



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