July 9, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — The new and still-emerging face of downtown Silver Spring took on another aspect today with the long-awaited, much-anticipated grand opening of the Silver Spring Civic Building at Veterans Plaza.
Local officials, including County Executive Ike Leggett, Council President Nancy Floreen, District 5 County Councilmember Valerie Ervin, Maryland 4th District Congresswoman Donna Edwards and community and business representatives participated in the ceremony that included cutting a length of red, white and blue bunting to mark the official opening of the three-story building located at One Veterans Place (on the corner of Fenton St. and Ellsworth Dr.).
Designed by the international award-winning, Boston-based architectural firm of Machado and Silvetti Associates and constructed by Costello Construction of Columbia (MD), the building was created to serve as the center of community activities and events in downtown Silver Spring. The $22 million construction cost for this capital project was managed by the County’s Department of General Services.
This building is a tangible, public testament to this community’s long-standing desire for a gathering place,” Leggett said. The Executive called it “a labor of love for everyone involved.”
Managed and scheduled by Montgomery County government and the Community Use of Public Facilities, the building’s primary features include the large Great Hall which is available for banquets, performances and other meetings and presentations and four other community use rooms including a gallery space and an outdoor courtyard. The Silver Spring Regional Center and other County offices occupy part of the top floor of the building, while Round House Theatre School is on the lower level.
Council President Floreen said, “The Silver Spring Civic Building is really something to celebrate. This beautiful building will serve as a true community center offering a whole host of opportunities. With easy access to Metro, it will be an asset not just to those who live nearby but to all of Montgomery County.”
Councilmember Ervin, who represents Silver Spring, Wheaton, Kensington and Takoma Park said, “The opening of the Silver Spring Civic Building and Veterans Plaza is a milestone in the evolution of Silver Spring. Located in my own backyard, this essential and much anticipated community use space will become the hub of community life in and around Silver Spring; and the best part of this project is that we achieved it by working together.”
The Civic Building is located adjacent to the Veterans Plaza, which will provide outdoor space for community events such as concerts, movies and other public events, making it a true public square. It also contains a pavilion covering and a permanent ice skating rink that will be open each year from November to March. The plaza will include a memorial by Toby Mendez (a Frederick County artist who created the Thurgood Marshall Memorial at the State Capitol) commemorating the service of veterans of Silver Spring and Montgomery County.
This project is part of a multi-project effort by Montgomery County to support the retail-oriented redevelopment of the Silver Spring Central Business District (CBD).
Some interesting facts about the building
– The fritted glass (glass with many small dots on it) at the front of the building and in the windows surrounding the interior courtyard helps reduce the sunlight coming into the building which cuts down on heat gain. However, these fritted dots are uniquely Silver Spring.
– The exterior of the building is partially covered by Ipe wood, a cultivated Brazilian hardwood that does not need to be sealed or treated. This material will turn a gray color over time.
– The flooring in much of the building is either a natural stone or bamboo, a sustainable material.
– The courtyard in the center of the building brings natural light into the interior of the building.
– The HVAC system is a high efficiency system that uses magnetic bearings to reduce the use of electricity to run the blowers.
For details about rentals in the new Civic Building, contact Gwen Haney at 240-777-5334 or the Community Use of Public Facilities office at 240-777-2706 or online at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/cupf.
Additional information about the building and the project, overall, is available at www.montgomerycountymd.gov/neighborhoodprojects, click on the Silver Spring Civic Building link.
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Media contact: Bonnie Ayers, 240-777-6507
Building information: Mike Lowe, DGS, 301-777-6128; Reemberto Rodriguez or Susan Hoffmann, Regional Services Center, 240-777-5300.