ASPEN HILL — The Aspen Hill Library held its grand reopening on Saturday morning after being closed since November. Many Montgomery County residents and politicians were in attendance.
The size of the renovated library is 16,100 total feet square feet on two levels. The exterior of the building was painted, and the parking lot was reconstructed to meet Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Some of the design features are new information and checkout service desks, an enhanced children’s area, a teen space with seating and collection, collaboration spaces, an ADA upgrade of public restrooms on the lower level, and new furniture, including new tables in the children’s and adult areas.
Two girls, Gwen Taylor and Katie Gough, were excited about the new library. “It’s been closed since November, and we’ve been having to go to the Twinbrook library,” Taylor said. “But this one’s closer and a lot easier to get to.”
“I want to see all the new books,” Gough said. “And I love the architecture of it. It’s so modern and open and lighted, so I’m really excited to see all the new improvements they’ve made.”
Taylor said she won’t really miss the old library. “I think this one’s a lot cooler-looking,” she said. “It has all the bright colors and new lighting. It’s a lot nicer, I think.”
Ken Lewis, manager of the Aspen Hill Library, explained what makes this library so special. “We have a diverse community,” he said. “And nothing like back baggers coming to the actual offering programs. Things like, for example, composition clubs for persons who are learning English.”
Lewis also said that the library is also doing things like “Story time at the very beginning stages.” “We reach out to the schools in terms of providing library cards to each student can access information regarding homework.”
Members of the Montgomery County Board also attended, including County Executive Ike Leggett, District 3 Council member Sidney Katz, Director of General Services David Dise, and Director of Public Libraries Parker Hamilton.
Leggett said he feels great about the library. “This is really a good, good initiative for our county, overall, and certainly for this community,” he said. “It has allowed us, in this initiative, to get to repair and remodel libraries in a quicker order, and we’ve done a number of them around the county.”
The thing Leggett is proud of as County executive is the budgetary substance of Montgomery County. “The fact that we’ve been able to manage some very difficult challenges to come out as well as we’ve done so far,” he said. “And continue to build libraries and expand libraries to make huge investments in our school system.”
Leggett stated that there’s more he wants to do in transportation. “There are clearly more things that we need to address in our environment, but transportation, right now, is the biggest challenge we have.”
Finally, regarding the candidates running for his seat, Leggett hasn’t yet made an assessment. “We don’t even know at this point in time who’s all running,” he said.