Snow Hill, Maryland – Plans to construct a new Pocomoke City Branch of the Worcester County Library are officially underway. On September 5, 2023, the Worcester County Commissioners locked in the architectural services of JSD, Inc. of The Design Group to develop detailed design plans to construct a new, one-story branch library in Pocomoke.
“The commissioners have remained enthusiastically committed to building a new branch library in Pocomoke that will meet the needs of the community for years to come,” Commissioner President Chip Bertino said. “We believe that it is possible to construct a state-of-the-art facility that serves to beautify and enhance the community, while demonstrating to area residents and non-resident property owners that we will strive to obtain the best pricing possible when spending taxpayer dollars.”
The new library branch will be constructed on the existing, county-owned site at 301 Market Street in Pocomoke. At the September 5 meeting, the project team presented a revised cost estimate of $7.6 million to more closely match the target cost of $600 per square foot.
“In August the commissioners asked project participants to sharpen their pencils and return with a revised scope of work that more closely matches our target cost of $600 per square foot to align with available project funding,” Commissioner Caryn Abbott said. “We’re thrilled they were able to meet that objective. Current design plans include constructing a 12,533 square-foot Pocomoke Branch Library. That’s nearly double the size of the existing structure.”
Amenities for the new branch library will include a flexible, open-space design with plenty of natural lighting, a large community meeting room, a larger children’s room, a separate teen area, adult library, restrooms, offices, two study rooms, a local history room, and high-efficiency lighting. Exterior design plans include an outdoor area for children’s programs. Demolition of the existing 53-year-old library, which is experiencing structural and mechanical failures, is included in the scope of this project.
Plans for the new library are being developed through the cooperative efforts of the Worcester County Commissioners and Library staff, Pocomoke City officials, and The Design Group. Basic plans for the new library are at 10% now, and the commissioners have requested an opportunity to review and revisit these plans once they reach 50% completion. The project is anticipated to go out to bid by April 2024.
“We look forward to the start of construction on this vital community project,” Commissioner Abbott said. “This welcoming new facility is sure to meet the needs of the community well into the future.”