Wednesday, October 13, 2010

In light of the upcoming meeting to discuss the future development of the Wheaton Library....

Please read the following letter written by MCCAB in 2009 concerning the Wheaton Library.

This meeting will be held Thursday, October 14 at 7:00 P.M. at the Mid-County Regional Center at 2424 Reedie Drive, Wheaton.

May 19, 2009

The Honorable Isiah Leggett
Montgomery County Executive
50 Monroe Street
Rockville, Maryland  20850

Dear Mr. Leggett:

                        On behalf of the Mid-County Citizens Advisory Board (MCCAB), I want to express our support for the decision to defer action on the renovation of the Wheaton Library.  This decision provides the Wheaton Redevelopment staff and the community with the opportunity to continue to look creatively at redevelopment options.

While the International Downtown Association has recommended that the Library be moved and considered as an anchor for any new development taking place in Wheaton, the community surrounding the Library has spoken forcefully about its desire to keep the Library in its present location.  The current economic situation and spending constraints occurring in Montgomery County provide an opportunity to carefully consider whether to relocate the Wheaton Library to the Wheaton Urban District, renovate it in its current location, or consider other creative options that may incorporate plans for renovating the Wheaton Recreation Center and the Rafferty Center.  It also provides time to explore a public/private partnership.

The MCCAB has also looked at the new Rockville and Germantown Libraries, and the plans for the Silver Spring Library.  We understand that the buildings in Rockville and Silver Spring are not just libraries, and see the value of this type of mixed use development.  We also see the value of the public/private partnerships formed to develop them, particularly in the current budget situation.

The MCCAB agreed that it is appropriate that no decision is being made now on whether to renovate or relocate the Library, particularly since the current economy precludes implementing such a decision.  We, too, are not making any recommendation at this time as we feel there are too many unanswered questions.  However, we hope that the time can be used to explore other options, collect data on alternatives and consider changes that may emerge in Wheaton over the next few years.  The MCCAB will continue to follow the planning for the Wheaton Library and these other Wheaton facilities, and will forward future recommendations as planning progresses.


          Sheldon Fishman

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