When the site committee for Hinesville’s new library meets Monday, members will have in hand a clear statement from the library’s trustees favoring the current Memorial Drive location.
Land was purchased at the library’s current Memorial Drive site for future development, and the board of trustees at its October meeting unanimously voted to use that property rather than the alternative Main Street location.
The Hinesville/Liberty County committee is considering land on the corner of M.L. King Jr. Drive and Main Street for the new library. The new public library would be built using SPLOST funds.
Preliminary plans call for a facility three times the size of the current library. Christian Kruse, regional director of the Chatham-Effingham-Liberty library system, said fitting a new facility onto the downtown corner site “can be done, but it’s not optimal.”
Kruse said the limited size of the Main Street location would rule out any possibility of future expansion and would not allow space for landscaping.
Library officials said a Main Street library would have to be three stories high because of the site’s small size. Providing library services on three separate floors would require increases in staffing and operating costs.
Several board members expressed concerns about adequate parking for a Main Street library, especially if parking spaces are lost in the expansion of Bradwell Park.
Discussion at the trustees’ October meeting showed that members feel the Main Street site will be more expensive to construct for reasons such as land acquisition and the need for an elevator. The architect for the project, Craig Buckley, is doing a cost analysis of the sites; trustees have not seen the analysis.
The library project committee scheduled to meet Monday includes Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas, County Commission Chairman John McIver, Commissioner Donald Lovette, Hinesville City Manager Billy Edwards, Liberty County Administrator Joey Brown and library trustees LaFayne May and the Rev. Douglas Harn.
Meetings are not open to the public.