Planners hope that the new $6.25 million library in Berlin, Maryland, will exceed all codes and serve the community for decades.

Out with the old, and in with the new! It's hard to overstate the importance of a state-of-the-art library within a community, and it won't be long before we'll have a serious upgrade of our very own. Worcester County's new Berlin Branch Library is on schedule to open in July, according to The Dispatch. With a large dividable meeting room and stage, kitchen, gallery space, sizable back porch, reading nooks, and space for children's activities, the new building has all kinds of features that make it user-friendly and the perfect place for hosting events. [caption id="attachment_8081" align="aligncenter" width="1024"]library Courtesy of The Dispatch[/caption]
And not only are planners excited about the $6.25 million facility (which will be almost quadruple the size of the current library), but they're hopeful that the design will serve as a sort of blueprint for future buildings in Worcester County. In addition to its spaciousness and accessibility to numerous state-of-the-art resources, the new building will operate efficiently, with triple pane windows and two types of insulation in extra-thick walls. The hope is that the facility will be cost-efficient to maintain for decades to come, without becoming a burden on taxpayers.
“We’ve raised the standards,” Ron Cascio, the president of the Worcester County Library board of trustees, told The Dispatch. “We’re beyond the code. Most of the time people build to code. We’ve built beyond the code. Building to code is just basically staying out of jail. We didn’t want to just be staying out of jail. We wanted to get beyond that.”
[caption id="attachment_8082" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Courtesy of The Dispatch[/caption] The brainchild of architect Jeff Schoellkopf, the library is being constructed behind the current library's site on Harrison Avenue and is being built by Whiting Turner. The project is currently 75 percent complete.
“The whole idea is that we put the money in up front,” Cascio said. “What we’ve learned is to own and operate the buildings we already have costs the taxpayers too much money. We know that by investing in these buildings up front we can keep the owning and operating costs low over time.”
Officials hope that community members will rally around the library and continue donating funds for additional furniture, equipment, increased connectivity, better lighting, and more. There are even plans for an expanded community garden. To contribute, visit the project's website. What do you think? Are you excited for the new Berlin Branch Library? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below!

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