by Sue Ann Rybak
Springfield Township’s proposed $20 million municipal campus project includes plans for a new library and public works building with either renovations or a brand new administration and police department building.
The Springfield Township Municipal Complex is at the intersection of Hawthorne Lane and Paper Mill Road in the Wyndmoor section of the township.
Springfield Township Commissioner Robert Gillies Jr. said that after the library became part of the Township 10 years ago, the township decided it needed to assess its needs. Prior to that year, the library had operated independently.
“It’s needs were pretty extensive,” said Gillies, who is also a member of the Municipal Campus Advisory Committee.
He said the library had significant water damage and needed major renovations, including a new roof. He added that the current library is at capacity, and patrons are often turned away because of space limitations.
“Once we reconciled that the library would need a new building, we decided to look at our municipal campus,” Gillies said.
He said the police facility and the public works building were also at full capacity and in desperate need of renovations to address safety issues and meet the growing needs of the community.
“We wanted to have a building that would last another 50 to 100 years, not something that was going to need ongoing renovations or a new addition to accommodate the needs of the community,” Gillies said.
Gillies said the township is currently looking into ways to minimize the cost of the new library and other buildings.
He said the township hopes to obtain grants and other donations from philanthropic organizations such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to supplement the cost of building a new library to taxpayers. He added that the township is also looking at what assets it has that it can potentially sell or lease to generate a significant amount of revenue.
Currently, the township is working with Thomas Daley, of Daley and Jalboot Architects, to develop a schematic design from the township’s Master Plan, which was designed by Vitetta Architecture and Engineering.
Thomas Daley, an architect and partner at the firm, said the company was delighted to be working with Springfield Township on the new campus.
“Our design will reflect the township goals to be environmentally responsible, respectful of the immediate neighborhood, provide rooms for public meetings, state-of- the-art facilities to provide safe and efficient community services, all while being aesthetically pleasing,” Daley said.
He added that he hopes the project will serve the community for generations to come.
Daley said the project will done in phases, with construction scheduled to begin around Aug. 15. The project should be completed in 18-20 months, depending on the final design.
He said the first phase of the project will be the construction of the new library. He said the new library will be 22,000 square feet, almost twice the size of the current library. The existing library is only 9,020 square feet.
“We are currently reconfiguring the site,” he said. “The library will be constructed at the top of the site at Hawthorne Lane in an open lot, and then the public works building will be relocated to the site where the library is. The police and administration building will be roughly in its current location.”
According to the proposed plans, the new public works building will be approximately 22,000 square feet, and the police and administration building will be approximately 18,000 square feet.
Daley added that the existing police and administration building is only 8,100 square feet and does not meet current police standards.
“We are working with advisory committee to continue to develop this project,” he said.
The advisory committee meets monthly to discuss the proposed plans. The next meeting is at 7 p.m.Wednesday, Oct. 15, at the Springfield Township Municipal Building, 1510 Paper Mill Road. All meetings are open to the public. For more information call 215-836-7600.