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Ribbon-Cutting Celebration Opens the Montgomery County Public Libraries’ White Oak Branch

For Immediate Release: Monday, April 2, 2018

A ribbon-cutting ceremony today reopened the Montgomery County Public Libraries’ White Oak Branch located at 11701 New Hampshire Ave. in Silver Spring. The event marked the official reopening of the branch after being closed to be “refreshed” under the Library Refurbishment Level-of-Effort initiative in the County’s Capital Improvements Program. 

County Executive Ike Leggett was joined by County Council Vice President Nancy Navarro; Councilmembers Tom Hucker and George Leventhal; Department of General Services (DGS) Director David Dise; Acting Director of Public Libraries Anita Vassallo; Friends of the Library White Oak Chapter President Frank Altrichter, and members of the community. 

“I am pleased to reopen the renewed White Oak Branch,” said Leggett. “In my early years as County Executive, our economy was at one of the lowest points in history and yet we continued to build, renovate or “refresh” facilities because we prioritize libraries in Montgomery County.”

“I am delighted that the White Oak community will have their newly refurbished library back,” said Council Vice President Navarro. “Libraries are community hubs where residents can participate in educational activities for children, teens and seniors, stay connected using the latest technology or just enjoy a great book.”

Hucker quoted Albert Einstein as saying, “The only thing that you absolutely have to know, is the location of the library.”

Hucker then went on to say, “Even in this digital age, he was exactly right. An excellent public library system is the hallmark of a progressive, enlightened community and Montgomery County has one of the nation’s best. Our county’s investment in the White Oak Library refreshment project, among others, is an example of our commitment to maintaining our great libraries. The refurbished library not only incorporates essential infrastructure and safety improvements but provides the kind of environment that our residents expect in their libraries: a place for learning, holding meetings or just relaxing with a good book.”

The refresh for the library includes new ergonomic sit and stand circulation and self-checkout desks; renovation of the public restrooms; new painting and flooring; replacement of ceiling tiles; rearrangement of shelving and seating within the library; upgraded lighting with improved energy efficient and brighter LED lamps; outside enhancements which include book drops, bike racks, sidewalk, parking lot improvements; new furniture; new staircase railing to the lower level area; dual drinking fountain with bottle filling station; motorized window shades and more.There were significant interior and exterior accessibility improvements for people with disabilities, including a fully accessible path of travel from Heartfield Drive and accessible entrances and exits throughout the building. 

“It is a pleasure to cut the ribbon for this newly refreshed White Oak Branch,” said Vassallo. “Our library staff has worked hard to get the library ready, and our Department of General Services staffers have done an outstanding job on the capital project improvements. The library looks great and I know the White Oak area residents are going to enjoy the many enhanced features and services.” 

“DGS is pleased to return this refreshed library to its dedicated patrons who will enjoy this improved, updated building,” said Dise. “The “Library Refresh” program keeps our branches modernized and in good repair while saving our residents thousands of dollars.” 

The approximate cost for the White Oak refresh project is $2.5 million. Keller Brothers served as the contractor for the project. OKKS Studios, a subsidiary of Delta Engineers was the architect. 

Partial funding for the project was provided by the County Library Capital Grant Program, Maryland State Library, as authorized by the Maryland General Assembly and supported by the Montgomery County Delegation.

The library opened immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony. For more information about the refresh, go to http://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/DGS-BDC/711502-White-Oak.html. For more information about the library, including hours of operation and upcoming events, visit the White Oak Library branch website. 

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Release ID: 18-496
Media Contact: Judy Stiles 240-777-6507