Baltimore County to Expand Hereford Library
Kamenetz Calls Libraries "the Heart of our Communities"
Towson, Maryland (March 6, 2014) – Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced plans to renovate and expand the Hereford Library branch as a result of the County's purchase of the building late last year. The project will include expansion of the existing space, as well as additional parking for library patrons.
On December 2, 2013, the Baltimore County Council approved a contract of sale submitted by County Executive Kevin Kamenetz to purchase the properties located at 16938 and 16940 York Road in Monkton for $1,884,200, which previously had been leased since 1988. The purchase of the 15,168-square-foot library building also includes an adjacent 1,320-square-foot parcel that is currently leased to a private tenant. The County intends to let leases expire for the upper floor of the library building and the adjacent parcel to allow for library expansion and renovation. The Hereford library serves residents of northern Baltimore County.
'A Focal Point in the Community'
"The commitment to expand library services for the people in this area of Baltimore County is significant," said County Executive Kamenetz. "Some of our finest schools in the County are in the Hereford area, and having a permanent home for the Hereford Library sends another strong signal about Baltimore County's commitment to life-long learning. The expanded library will be a focal point in the community for years to come."
"I really appreciate County Executive Kamenetz providing nearly $2 million to purchase this property," said 3rd district Councilman Todd Huff. "Securing a permanent home for the Herford Library has been a priority of mine since being elected, and I am delighted that the library, which is very popular, will be expanded." The costs of renovations are expected to be included in Kamenetz's FY2015 budget to be presented to the Council in April.
Traditionally, the Baltimore County Public Library system receives some of the strongest support in the nation from local government. In the current fiscal year, Baltimore County provided just under $43 million in funding for library services.
Announcement on the Heels of New Library at Owings Mills
One of the County Executive's first priorities upon his 2010 election was jump starting the Owings Mills Library branch, a project that had been stalled for more than a decade. That facility became a reality in March 2013 as part of the County Campus at Metro Centre development that also includes the Owings Mills campus of the Community College of Baltimore County. The County's largest library branch and CCBC share the $20.7 million ($30.2 million with furniture, fixtures and equipment), six-story, 120,000 square foot building, built to meet LEED Silver green building standards.
When the mixed-use Metro Centre at Owings Mills is completed, in addition to the 120,000 square foot County Campus library and Community College, it will include more than 1.2 million square feet of Class "A" office space; 300,000 square feet of complementary retail and restaurant space; 1,700 residential units; and a hotel with up to 250 rooms.
Expanded Library Hours and Satellite Services
Last August, Baltimore County announced that its award-winning public libraries would be open for business on Sundays, and that four satellite branches (Hereford, Lansdowne, Loch Raven, and Sollers Point) would be provided with full-time schedules. All County library branches are now open on Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m.
"In many ways, libraries are the heart of our communities," said Kamenetz. "Whether it's a child enjoying one of the outstanding pre-school programs that are available, an adult checking out the latest best seller, or someone using a computer to update a resume, libraries make a difference in the lives of County residents. I am very proud of the support we provide to our library system."