Howard County Library System
Savage Branch Renovation

rendering of Savage following renovationProject:
Renovated HCLS Savage Branch & STEM Education Center
Grimm + Parker Architects
Project Management Team:
Kane Construction, Inc.
Building Contractor:
Kane Construction, Inc.
Site Contractor:
Building closed July 6, 2013 and scheduled to re-open July 2014.

The Howard County Library Facilities Assessment and Master Plan: 2005-2030 outlines the need for 142,000 additional square feet of library building space. The HCLS Savage Branch project addresses a portion of the Master Plan by expanding the current site to use the former Senior Center and Health Department spaces, adding 9,000 sq. ft. of public space to the branch.

The renovated Savage Branch & STEM Education Center is envisioned as a site where HCLS will become a launching point for the STEM career pipeline. The site will have state-of-the-art equipment and a biohabitat garden where youth can learn first-hand about Maryland’s strong biohabitat opportunities.
rendering of Savage Branch following renovation
The renovated Savage Branch will strengthen the three pillars of HCLS' educational mission. For the:
  • Self-directed Education pillar, ample space is allocated for books, materials and computers in the children's, teen and adult collection areas. Quiet and group study rooms will allow customers to focus on their work.
  • Research Assistance & Instruction pillar, the new building includes a computer lab, study rooms, two children's classrooms, two outdoor classrooms, and two meeting rooms. Research and Customer Service desks have been located so as to optimize sightlines and deliver exceptional customer service.
  • Instructive & Enlightening Experiences pillar, the building will be a teaching tool in its own right with teaching elements built into the outdoor classroom.

The renovated Savage Branch will include dedicated space for HiTech with a professional grade sound booth and computers with high computing capabilities and professional grade software. Customers with smartphones and tablets can scan near technology posters around the branch for details about classes and the collection.

What will be included in the renovated branch?
In addition to video, sound, game and computer equipment, the branch will feature new and improved lighting, 70 public access computers (including six for children and 10 for teens), two conference rooms, three quiet study rooms and one group study room, two new children's classrooms, improved customer seating, reading nooks for all ages, a vending cafe with seating area, and a laptop counter overlooking the renovated courtyard.

Outside, the renovated Savage Branch will feature two outdoor classrooms with a shaded casual seating area. The new courtyard will include a biogarden with wifi; educational elements will demonstrate bioconservation, green technologies, and Maryland’s water lifecycle. To connect the neighborhood with the branch, a stepping stone pathway will run from Knights Bridge Road to the entrance and a footbridge will connect Gorman Road to the entrance. Other exterior features include an educational rain garden and a modernized parking lot and sidewalk that demonstrate the latest advancements in ecological conservation and preservation.

What will happen to the parking lot?
While the number of parking spaces will remain approximately the same, the lot is being redesigned to be more environmentally efficient (e.g., permeable surface).

When will the new branch open?
We anticipate a July 2014 grand re-opening. Watch the web site for updates.

Savage Branch