Friday, October 05, 2012

New Silver Spring Library to Open in Two Years... Or Not

The new Silver Spring library project has been in progress for well over a decade now, and we're still only at the point of selecting a contractor to actually build it (Foulger-Pratt? Only if Facchina Construction gets to pour the concrete!). Bids were due yesterday, and supposedly a groundbreaking will occur by the end of November. Once construction starts it will take two years before the library is actually open for business. Of course, that was also the stated timeframe for the as-yet-unopened transit center when work began on that project four years ago.

Meawhile across the border, construction of a library does not appear to be a generational project, as the District has recently built or renovated dozens of libraries while we've spent time holding multiple hearings over superfluous skybridges. And these new libraries aren't just nondescript boxes, either - the District government has made a point of investing in architecturally noteworthy structures.

Here's just a small sampling of neighborhood libraries built around D.C. just in the past few years (there's more).

And here's our new library:

I don't know what my point is - maybe just to reiterate the ridiculousness that is the glacial pace of construction around here when it comes to public buildings. Entire Chinese cities have been built since this project began.


Anonymous said...

The commentators on this blog will no doubt blame this on some contractor or some private company and not the Montgomery County government- which can do no wrong.

Not shocked that the Ike Leggett administration can't do anything right the first time, or with any speed.

Sligo said...

The Transit Center debacle is on the contractor and unforeseen circumstances... the responsibility for this one falls squarely on the County bureaucracy, with an assist from "The Community".

Jerry A. McCoy said...

Say what you will about the DC Government but the DC Public Library system is getting its act together!

Anonymous said...

"The commentators on this blog will no doubt blame this on some contractor or some private company and not the Montgomery County government- which can do no wrong."

Har har, FPratt lover. Glad the money is finally there to build this damn thing.

I know that some people think the current library is adequate, but this new library will actually be a part of the community with tens of thousands of people being able to walk to it. Exactly 3 people were willing/able to walk along the shitshow that is Colesville Ave. to the old site.

Anonymous said...

I think this new library might be great. Who knows- we'll be dead before the morons running this county ever get it done.

Can we please get these morons out of office?

Anonymous said...

They did a pretty good job in sheparding the Fillmore to completion. Could I get a bridge from my front door to the library?

Stuart said...

To Anonymous 2:04:00 PM, the Fillmore was a private sector construction project (funded by county dollars) where the land was already owned by the developer. If this was fully a county project, hard to say if it would be open yet.

Anonymous said...

The issue is probably a little bit of both. It takes for ever in this county to get permits. That being said the contractor working on the transit center should have monitored the progress more closely. They are responsible for any subcontracts. They should be excluded from future Montgomery County procurments.

Anonymous said...

It is a bit of both. The county greased the approvals process in the Fillmore's case. Why not make that the new standard? The increased economic activity would more than pay for any added expense from the permit office. As for the contractor at the transit center, more proof that the profit motive dosen't always produce the best results. The only day that really counted in the transit center's construction was when they where pouring the floors, becasue of the importance of the re-bars location. Looks like someone was hung over that day, becasue that's what all the fuss is about. Who's going to pay for this fukc-up? Easy, who was incharge of the concrete pour that day?

Anonymous said...

might as well make this thing a museum. By the time it's built nobody will go to/need libraries. Astoundingly slow pace of construction...making transit center look good.

Anonymous said...

"Astoundingly slow pace of construction..."

?? Construction doesn't start till next month, smart guy.

Anonymous said...

Sligo hit the nail on the head when describing the problem with both projects. One is the government's fault, the other the contractor. Any argument to the contrary just doesn't make a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

Grease the skids on the approvals process for the Filmore? I mean, holy crap, that's what it takes to efficiently do a construction project around here? You want to talk about anti-business/development environment..... the fact that the county has to "grease the skids" in order to get something done efficiently tells you everything you need to know.

Anonymous said...

Montgomery count govt is a joke

Anonymous said...

maybe the skybridge could be built right to a bar on the second or third floor

that should make a lot of people on this blog happy

Anonymous said...

at the anonymous comment right above this one talking about building a bridge to a bar for the readers of this blog.....I assume that comment was a little sarcastic? Assuming it was, if you were to build a bridge to a bar and it was to be somewhat unique, then it would probably pay for itself and thus would warrant the cost. As a result, it would make at least some small, somewhat kind of rational sense....unlike the thing spanning the road for no discernable purpose (and don't give me the handicapped speech in response to that. It's an utterly bogus argument. Handicapped people can cross a street too)

Anonymous said...

Costco in Wheaton has consturction problems too. Are consturction projects in Moco cursed?

Anonymous said...

As the above stated its obviously the idiots running this county into the ground.

Notice that they not only cant build anything at cost or anywhere near on time- but they keep making ad hoc unplanned decisions that make everything seem haphazard.

Just take a look at all the businesses leaving 270 corrider for NOVA or Frederick county/Other MD counties.

Whats the DTSS Office occupancy rate look like? Any big businesses here or than NOAA and Discovery? I see a lot of empty office signs. Does anyone know?

Anonymous said...

Haha Sligo you've done it again. I was in Dubai over the weekend and had a chance to visit the Burj Khalifa - broke ground in 2004, broke world records a few years later and was open for residences, offices, shopping, entertainment in 2009. If we only had a monarchy in DTSS.

Anonymous said...

"Whats the DTSS Office occupancy rate look like?"

Great. Couldn't ask for much better w/a vacancy rate below 12% (small spaces here and there, no large chunk to fill. Which is both a positive and a negative as far as stability v. growth).

"Any big businesses here or than NOAA and Discovery?"

Well obviously that'd depend on what you mean by "here" (only the CBD?) and what your definition of "big" is (sqft? employees? revenue?) and what said definition's cutoff is. But judging from your tone and level of knowledge on the subject, I take it you were simply looking for a "Silver Spring sucks" and "everyone in MoCo is an idiot" response anyways.

Mr. Wang said...

Library? I am just waiting for that wonderful sweatshop retailer H&M to open.

Anonymous said...

You know there are enough people complaining about things in DTSS that maybe these complains have merit and its not just "haters" of moco or silver spring?

Anonymous said...

FYI, Gazette reporting Transit Center opening by September next year. Whoop de freaking do. Will believe it when I see it.

Anonymous said...

The DC library collections are far better than MoCos since the big cuts. Multiple copies of hot books at least a month and a half before MoCo gets them. I just reserve stuff and pick it up at MLK library on the way home from work.

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