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State providing $3.9M for new Pocomoke library

Worcester County staff recently told the county commissioners that the state would be providing nearly $4 million for construction of a new library in Pocomoke.

Pocomoke library rendering

A rendering shows the proposed design of the new Pocomoke Library branch.
Rendering courtesy The Design Group

By Charlene Sharpe, Associate Editor

Pocomoke residents could have access to a new library by late 2025.

County staff recently provided an update to the Worcester County Commissioners on new library set to replace the aging Pocomoke facility. Officials were pleased to learn this month the state will be funding $3.9 million of the project.

“Obviously everyone’s pleased with the way we’re going forward at this point,” Commissioner Chip Bertino said.   

A progress report presented to the commissioners this week outlined plans for the new 12,365 square foot facility planned for the current library site in Pocomoke. The new building, which will feature parking to the west side of the structure, has been designed to be open, airy and inviting, according to the report. 

“The main entry is proposed on the southwest corner to a gallery lobby space off of which are the restrooms, community space, and library,” the report reads. “Upon entry from this the service counter is straight ahead, children’s area to the left, collections and reading areas to the right, and workrooms and utility areas behind the counter. Beyond the adult stacks are teen areas, reading areas, and a designated maker space, which is also accessible directly from the lobby. This level also includes some special collections, two small meeting or study rooms, and a local history room. The design allows the multipurpose community space to accommodate meetings when the library areas are closed and locked.”

The site plan, which includes 37 parking spaces, also features a children’s porch as well as raingardens and landscaping around the building. 

Worcester County Library Director Jennifer Ranck told the commissioners this week she’d been working on the new library since 2019 and was happy to see it moving forward. When asked if the county could expect any more than the $3.9 million from the state, she said she could apply for another grant for furnishings for the new facility. 

As far as the timeline for the building, staff said the goal was to bid the project in the summer and to have construction start in October with the goal to finish in late 2025 or 2026.

This story appears in the April 26, 2024, print edition of the Bayside Gazette.