Thursday, January 23, 2014
Construction of a new Waccamaw Neck library is set to begin next month and will be complete by November, officials say.
The 17,300-square-foot, one story building will be located on Willbrook Boulevard in the Litchfield section of Pawleys Island near Waccamaw Middle and Waccamaw Intermediate schools.
“We are looking forward to having a new larger library on the Waccamaw Neck,” said Dwight McInvaill, director of the Georgetown County Library.
“We know it will be a wonderful educational and creative social center.”
The new library, called the The Library Center (TLC) Waccamaw, will feature an information commons area, a teen technology space, a children’s room with a technology area, a multipurpose auditorium and two conference rooms.
The auditorium will easily accommodate 180 people and the two conference rooms will accommodate about 20 people each for smaller gatherings, McInvaill said.
He said that last year 13,400 people used the public room at the current Waccamaw Library for meetings, so he knows the new library with added space will be used often by the public.
A bid for construction from Coastal Structures of Georgetown at $2.98 million was approved by Georgetown County Council at their last meeting.
Coastal Structures is also the contractor for the new Murrells Inlet Community Center, now under construction.
“We are very excited about the bid being approved,” McInvaill said. “It is wonderful to work with such an excellent firm. I know they’ll do a very good job.”
The new library was designed by Tych & Walker Architects, LLP.
Architect Michael Walker said the new library will be an asset to the community.
“It is certainly a more updated version of the library,” Walker said.
“And the location is definitely more of a hub of activity.”
He said that in addition to being close to two schools, it is near a shopping center and has a bike path in front of it.
McInvaill added that the library is also near Coastal Carolina University’s Litchfield campus.
He said libraries are very important in today’s world.
“The face of public libraries is changing across America, but they remain relevant in communities as social and educational venues,” McInvaill said.
Five years of planning
When the new library was proposed by Georgetown County Council almost five years ago, a public-private partnership came into existence, according to the Waccamaw Library’s website. That partnership included the county government, The Library Center capital campaign committee, and the Friends of the Waccamaw Library known as FOWL.
“It was agreed that the county’s capital fund would provide the money to construct the library building and that TLC, along with FOWL, would raise private money to pay for additional collections, library furnishings and amenities.
“For more than four years, FOWL and the TLC-Waccamaw fund raising committees persisted in their efforts to make this new library something special,” the website states.
“Members of the fund raising committees have submitted dozens of grant requests, spoken to numerous civic clubs, contacted hundreds of local residents who have a history of supporting important community projects, held book sales, hosted dinner parties and conducted dozens of other fund raising events. As a result of their efforts, almost $250,000 has been raised for the new library project. As construction gets underway, FOWL will continue to raise money for books, benches, comfortable seating for the meeting rooms, a projection and sound system for the community room and other amenities to make the library a special place.”
For more information, visit these websites: www.thefowl.org, or www.georgetowncountylibrary.sc.gov.
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