Cecil County Public Library Board of Trustees President Brig. Gen. Ken Wiggins and Cecil County Public Library Director Morgan Miller announced the selection of the architecture firm that will lead the design of the long-awaited North East Branch Library.
At their November 13, 2017 board meeting, the library board awarded the North East design contract to BCWH Tappe Architects, a library design firm with extensive experience in designing vibrant public libraries that support a spectrum of programs and spaces for community learning and personal advancement. BCWH Tappe was awarded the 2017 American Institute of Architects/American Library Association National Building Award for their design of the Varina Library in Henrico County, Virginia.
“We received an overwhelming response to our request for qualifications and were highly impressed with the quality of the firms we interviewed. All brought wisdom and creativity to their approaches to the site and the inherent possibilities for the new North East Library,” stated President Wiggins. “It’s been a thorough process and we’ve selected an experienced, forward-thinking team who has demonstrated exceptional skill in understanding and designing for the current and future needs of the community.”
“The BCWH Tappe team’s expertise, creativity, and talent in designing for both sustainability and operational efficiency are exceptional. Their process is innovative and community-driven, and will ensure the design of not just a library building, but an enduring civic anchor with learning opportunities inside and out,” said Morgan Miller, CCPL’s Director. “Citizens and elected officials have asked me, what’s next for the library system after winning the National Medal? The community’s support has brought us here to the next chapter: a visionary, impactful library that will be a vital resource for community learning and growth for many years into the future,” Miller stated.
The next step in the process will be conducting a number of community engagement sessions to gain vital community input needed to ensure that the new library is reflective of the people it serves. “Starting in early January 2018, we will host a variety of community engagement sessions and focus groups to uncover ideas and inspiration from the whole community – whether one has a library card or not – we want to hear from you,” Miller stated.
CCPL will begin design immediately and anticipates construction in Fall, 2018. Expected completion will occur in Fall, 2020. In 2015, the county purchased land for the library in the North East Station Shopping Center adjacent to West Marine and directly across from Food Lion. The new library will have pedestrian access from downtown North East with planned State Highway Administration improvements and crosswalks from Route 40 to the site.
“It’s an honor to have been selected for this distinctive opportunity. We are ready to apply the skills we have been developing together to deliver excellence in library building design and performance. Realizing that the best outcomes for our library clients and the communities they serve requires unique design solutions tuned to patron needs and aspirations, we have developed a community participation initiative customized to the North East Community. We are eager to hear from every age group and stakeholder – from children and families to small business owners.”