Article originally printed in:
July 21, 2004
By: Lindsay Reinsmuth, HCN/Villager Staff
Groundbreaking for the Precinct 3 Montgomery County Library began Tuesday at 8215 Ashlane Way, across from the YMCA in Sterling Ridge. This new addition to the Woodlands' literary world is planned for completion in late spring or early summer of 2005.
Turner Construction Company and RWS Architects have worked together to plan and start building this two-story, 30,000 square-foot facility, on land provided by The Woodlands Operating Company.
"We are building this library here because of the highly dense population in The Woodlands," said Library Director Jerilynn Williams. "There is such an explosive population in Montgomery County, and we are simply addressing the need."
The two closest county libraries for Woodlands residents are currently located on Lake Robbins Road and in Magnolia. This location, which, in addition to the YMCA is part of a master plan for Sterling Ridge, will satisfy an overwhelming need for library access, Williams said.
In addition to its large size, the library is set to maintain a vast array of books, information and other materials.
"We'd like the same level of access and information at this facility that we have at our existing facility on Lake Robbins Road," Williams said. "We'll also have express check machines, because we know that people are really concerned about the time that they stand online, which is another reason why we're going to this additional facility. People can come in, get their books and check it out themselves."
The new Woodlands library will join six other libraries in a shared system. Residents will be able to order material from another library and have it delivered to the Sterling Ridge location.
Additionally, the library will include a high-volume glass entry, a first-floor reading area for children, an activities room for small children, a second-floor adult reading area and a room designated specifically for young adults.
"We're trying to accommodate everybody," said RWS Architects Vice President John Robertson. "The entire building will have computer access so residents can do research and search the Web. There will also be some classrooms in the building, one of which is set up for computer training. There will be community rooms that may be divided into two conference rooms that will have access after library hours, so the community can use the conferencing capabilities after, or during, library hours."
RWS Architects has also designed such projects as Fellowship of The Woodlands, Montgomery College and the University Center. This is, however, Turner Construction Company's first project in The Woodlands area.
"This is a community that Turner feels strongly about," said Project Manager Henry Villareal. "A lot of Turner employees lived in this area and we thought this would be a good opportunity for the community."
A much-needed opportunity, in fact, as Williams said she feels the new library will be an important contribution to The Woodlands. "Woodlands individuals voted in support of the library bond issue in 2002, and this will be one of three libraries funded by the bond," she said. "There are a lot of young families and a lot of activity and we're adding to the quality of life of this part of the county. We are simply filling a need."
Lindsay Reinsmith may be reached via e-mail at LindsayReinsmith@yahoo.com.
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