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Libraries hope to be growing
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The Liberty County Library Board was sharply focused Monday on a new main library for Hinesville and relocation of the Midway/Riceboro Branch to the Midway community center complex.
The present library at 236 Memorial Drive is too small and a search has identified that site as probably the best for an expanded facility.
The Brooks Auto Parts property adjoining the library is for sale and the city of Hinesville owns land adjoining the Brooks parcel.
Adjoining the library on the other side is the old bus station at the corner of Gause Street and Memorial Drive. Library officials believe they could acquire that property as part of a planned library development centered around the present site.
Library Board Chairwoman  Joan Hollingsworth said, “We could not find a better site, but ... we need that land.”
There is no specific plan for a new library. Preliminary ideas lean toward a building of around 60,000 square feet, possibly a two-story building.
Hollingsworth is meeting Thursday with Hinesville, county, school board and other officials to discuss library improvements.
LaFayne May said, “We want something we can be proud of.”
Board members were also concerned at the progress of moving the Midway/Riceboro Branch Library, currently in a tiny former voting precinct building on Martin Road in Midway, into the former Liberty Elementary School which is being developed into a community complex.
Most of the old school now stands vacant, but the Midway City Hall and a substation of the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office are housed there.
Christian Kruse, regional library director, said he had looked at the proposed library site several times as the project was discussed. He said the initial plan, to move the branch library into the former media center of the school and use several adjoining rooms, had seemed fairly simple.
Kruse said that as the years passed and the building deteriorated, the project became more difficult. Further complications include the need to demolish several buildings, some of which contain asbestos.
Board members Carolyn Carter and Dennis Fitzgerald did not attend Monday’s meeting.
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