Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Grand Re-Opening of Savage Branch Library & STEM Center on 7/22/14

(Updated with video and photos from the Grand Re-Opening)

The renovated Howard County Savage Branch Library & STEM Education Center will re-open on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 12:30 PM. Doors will open at 12:45 PM and tours and activities will be held up to 6 PM.

During the year-long renovation a small Express Branch Library opened in the Lincoln Center shopping center near Route 1. The Express Branch closed on June 28th.

Among the $6M in improvements made to the Savage Branch Library were:
  • The site was expanded to use the former Senior Center and Health Department spaces, increasing public areas by 9,000 sq. ft. to 24,000 sq. ft.
  • A Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Education Center was created:
    • Dedicated space for HiTech classes with a professional-grade sound booth and high-end computers with professional software
    • Outdoor courtyard with a biohabitat garden showcasing conservation, green technologies and Maryland's water lifecycle
    • An educational rain garden
  • Lighting was improved and the library will feature 70 public access computers
  • Two conference rooms, three quiet study rooms, one group study rooms, and two new children's classrooms.
  • The parking lot and sidewalk were modernized with permeable surfaces

From the October 2, 2013 press release announcing the project:
"Our library system is a key part of world-class educational opportunities in Howard County, and Savage deserves the best. We should all be proud that the library system was just ranked No. 1 in North America, and I can't wait for the Savage Branch to become a jewel of the system." -- Howard County Executive Ken Ulman 
"Unique among our six branches, the Savage Branch will be headquarters for HiTech, our popular STEM initiative for teens." -- Valerie J. Gross, HCLS President and CEO
The project also is part of an initiative to reduce untreated stormwater runoff that contributes to pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.

About the HiTech Program:
HiTech is a Howard County Library System program that teaches teens (ages 11-18) cutting-edge science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) concepts via project-based classes.

Skills taught include programming (Python and Javascript), 3D animation, music/video production, robotics, cybersecurity, green technologies, and more.

Since June 2012 nearly 3,500 students have participated in the program.

Among the past projects were weather balloons, robots, quad rotor flight controllers, hovercraft, and two mobile games for Apple iOS and Google Android.

Upcoming classes include Genetics: Biology and Nanotechnology; Gamification; Advanced Robotics; Wearable Technologies; and Augmented Reality.

Grand Re-Opening Details:
Facility: Howard County Savage Branch Library & STEM Education Center
Location: 9525 Durness Lane, Laurel, MD 20723 
12:30 PM: Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony
12:45 PM: Doors Open
12:45 PM - 6 PM: Tours & Activities

A month prior to the Grand Re-Opening, they were still working on the
water features, parking lot, and courtyard 

After the Grand Opening on 7/22/13:
Howard County officials talked during the ceremonial re-opening about how they wanted to make the Savage Branch Library a showcase with STEM facilities unique within the County system:


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