With construction under way at the county's new library in the Evans Town Center, the fate of the current Gibbs Library is questionable.
Gibbs Library recently celebrated its 21st anniversary, and it will probably get a 22nd but not a 23rd.
Work crews are clearing land next to the Columbia County Justice Center and Courthouse Annex in Evans, where a new 50,000-square-foot library is scheduled to open in the spring of 2006. Some county officials have begun to ponder what to do with Gibbs after it is no longer needed as a library.
Some of the proposed options include leasing it to a private entity or using it as a county office.
"At this point, I don't think we know what we want to do," said Barry Smith, director of Columbia County's Community and Leisure Services Division. "It's really premature right now."
Dessie Creswell, an Evans High School student, works with tutor Ruth Sapp at Gibbs Library. A new library is being built near the Columbia County Justice Center.
Photo by Jim Blaylock
Gibbs opened in 1982 at 326 N. Belair Road. At the time, the 9,700-square-foot building suited the county's needs, but it began feeling the pinch during the county's population boom of the 1990s.
"I'd say we probably got 10 years out of the building before it started getting crowded," said Christina Rice, library director for the county. "The last 10 years, we've been adding shelves to accommodate the collection."
Rice said the library was constructed to hold 40,000 books. Currently, it has 71,136 books. The new library will have three times that capacity, she said.
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