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Friendsville Library Project

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we need a new building?

The current building opened in 1970, and was meant as a temporary structure.  It is uninsulated, uncomfortable and not ADA compliant.  The Library portion is cramped and unable to function as the community gathering place it should be, and also lacks space for effectively holding classes and community events.  Due to its age, it is likewise unable to meet the technology needs of the 21st century.  A new building would be a source of pride for the community, a showpiece for the Town, and a place where people could gather, enjoy events for all ages, and obtain free community resources for developing themselves and the town.

How big will it be?

The current building is 2800 square feet – 1400 for the Library, and 1400 for the Town Hall.  We propose a new building of roughly 5500 square feet, with 1000 square feet for Town offices, 4000 for the Library, and 500 for a meeting room. 

For reference, this is slightly smaller than the current library in Grantsville.

How much will it cost?

We anticipate the cost will be about $300/square foot.  This works out to $1,650,000 for the raw construction costs.  Additionally, architect fees, furniture, equipment and “soft costs” will need to be considered, potentially bringing it up to around $3.4 million, based on one cost analysis.

This cost will depend on many things:  how big the building ends up being, what kind of construction style we decide upon, what sort of amenities/technology are included, any potential unforeseen problems with the lot, in-kind donations of time, expertise and materials, etc.  We will work to bring costs down in whatever way possible.

Where will you get the money?

We will pursue a capital grant through the state of Maryland that can potentially provide up to 50% of the construction costs for the Library area.  The grant has a matching requirement, though, and we will work to raise money locally.   

We will investigate the prospects of other grant opportunities, private donations, fundraising projects, County support, and if necessary a bond issue.

Additionally, the grant will not cover the town offices located in the building, so the costs for that (about $510,000) will have to be raised separately.

We also want to thank the Friendsville Quilters for their hard work raising funds for this project over the years!

Where will it be?

We propose to demolish the existing building and put the new one up on the current site.  The floodplain in Friendsville unfortunately limits our options for alternative locations.

What will you do in the meantime?

We will use a temporary facility in town while construction takes place.

How long will it take?

The process takes time, especially when grant cycles, planning phases and the bidding process all have to be considered.  We anticipate a five-year timeline right now.

What features will it have?

The proposed building will have the following features:

  • Town Hall
  • Meeting Room
  • Children’s Area with interactive elements
  • Reading Porch
  • Co-Working Space
  • Art Display Area
  • Teen Area
  • Reading Lounge
  • Study Rooms
  • Public Computer Area
  • Lots of natural light
  • Charging points throughout area
  • Best possible Internet
  • Modular furniture and shelving to create a reconfigurable area

Anything else I should know?

This will be Friendsville’s building, and the project depends on Friendsville’s support.  Let’s make something the town can be proud of!

How can I donate?

You can donate quickly and easily to this project by clicking here:  Donate to the Friendsville Library Project with Paypal!

Alternatively, you can send a check made out to "Ruth Enlow Library of Garrett County" to 6 N Second St., Oakland, MD 21550.  Be sure to write "Friendsville" on the memo line!

How do I reach you with further questions?

Feel free to email me at thomas@relib.net!