CENTERVILLE -- When Marsha Lynn Christy was hired as Houston County Library System director, there already was talk about the need for a new Centerville library branch.
In one day, there were three children’s story times and a home-school group meeting, all crammed in a 4,200-square-foot space.
“There were so many people in the library, you could not move -- and that was 10 years ago,” said Judith Golden of the library system on behalf of Christy.
On Thursday, more than 100 people gathered to dedicate a new library almost four times the size of the old one. Christy could not attend.
Though the shelves were still bare, the 16,000-square-foot Centerville branch will house at least 8,000 new books in addition to the current collection, branch manager Nancy Granger said.
Wall-to-ceiling windows light the stately building, located on Gunn Road.
The project cost $4.2 million, with $2.2 million coming from 2006 special purpose local option sales tax funds and another $2 million from a state capital outlay grant.
The new branch is part of $5.2 million in SPLOST funds that went to all Houston libraries, County Commission Chairman Ned Sanders said.
Construction on the library began in fall 2009. The old branch on Church Street will close Dec. 30, and the new branch will open Jan. 24.
“Isn’t this a great Christmas present for Houston County and Centerville?” asked Gov. Sonny Perdue, who attended the dedication.
To contact writer Jennifer Burk, call 256-9705.