A true community at heart, Olney loves its public gathering spaces and institutions, which is part of the reason why locals were so concerned when they heard development on the temporarily closed Olney Library had ceased. A recent report form the Gazette brought Olney homeowners good news: The library renovation project is being picked up again, and while it will be a few months before construction restarts, officials are saying that the project should be finished by year’s end.
Complications with a payment issue led Sterling, Virginia-based Milestone Construction Services Inc. to shut down operation of the project, but recent talks between the developer, the Montgomery County Department of General Services and a financial backer, Zurich International, have the project back on track. “Milestone will be completing the Olney Library project and is looking forward to returning an improved library to the community,” stated Milestone Executive Vice President Bill Colonna.
The Olney Library is a treasured piece of Olney real estate and culture, having been around since 1981. Located by the intersection of Georgia Avenue and Olney-Laytonsville Road, the library closed in late 2010 for construction and has not had its doors opened since. Permit delays held back construction for more than a year, and then the financial issue with the developer further complicated measures.
The project is a massive undertaking, with total costs around $13 million, including an area expansion from 16,825 square feet to 22,574 square feet, and interior renovations and energy-efficient updates.
As for the exact time-table, David Dise, director of the county’s Department of General Services, said, “We are estimating the delay to be about two months, but we won’t know for sure until we see that schedule. Originally we thought it would be done mid to late August, but now we are looking at October.”
Olney homeowners are no doubt looking forward to the return of this great resource to their community, and news of its pending reopening should come as a cause for celebration. To stay abreast of the situation, Dise recommends citizens visit the project’s website at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/neighborhoodprojects.
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