Pictures by Kate Kuster
Town of Walkersville, County, and Library officials broke ground on Walkersville’s new library Monday afternoon. A large crowd gathered to witness the event and cheer the long awaited library.
The ceremony began with a flag ceremony performed by the Cub Scout Pack 1070. Walkersville High School’s band performed The Star Spangled Banner and On Wisconsin.
Director of Frederick County Public Libraries, Darrel Batson noted that discussions for replacing the Walkersville Library have been ongoing since before his tenure in the late 1990’s. He praised the hard work of the staff and government officials to make this a reality. Mr. Batson introduced and thanked County Executive Gardner for her many years of support to the libraries as both county executive and county commissioner.
County Executive Jan Gardner expressed her pleasure at seeing this project finally move forward. The project was tabled during the recession due to a lack of funds. When she drafted her first budget, the Walkersville Library was placed back into the capital improvement plan. She noted that the new library will be nearly six times larger than the existing Walkersville Library. “I look forward to returning in January next year for the ribbon cutting ceremony,” Executive Gardner stated.
County Council President Bud Otis spoke of the importance of libraries and education. He noted the success of Walkersville’s Library to draw patrons and especially youth. “Small town’s are what make America Great,” he remarked about Walkersville.
Walkersville Burgess Chad Weddle thanked all of the Town employees and officials for working hard on this project. He praised the community meeting space planned for the new library. “Maybe after the ribbon cutting ceremony, the library will be open on Fridays and Sundays,” Burgess Weddle prodded Director Batson. He told Executive Gardner and Director Batson that Walkersville will support expanded hours.
George Laugelli, President of the Frederick County Public Library Board of Trustees, discussed the importance of public libraries in the United States of America since Benjamin Franklin opened the first in 1731. He thanked everyone for their support of the library.
Finally, the ground was broken. Included in the ceremony were former Burgess Orley Bourland, former County Commissioner David Gray, County Executive Jan Gardner, County Council President Bud Otis, Burgess Chad Weddle, Director Darrell Batson, Walkersville Library Administrator Robin Bowers, Presdient George Laugelli, and members of the FCPL Board of Trustees.