Perry library back open after renovation

PERRY -- The Perry branch of the Houston County Public Library System reopened with a fresh look Thursday.

The library, which has been closed since July, underwent a renovation that was paid for with $800,000 from Houston County’s 1-cent sales tax revenue and $1.6 million in state grant money.

“It’s an amazing transformation,” said Tommy Stalnaker, chairman of the Houston County Commission, at Thursday’s dedication ceremony.

The renovation features upgrades to the children’s and teen areas along with a larger public computer area. Walls received a fresh coat of paint, and decor was updated.

JMA Architecture, which has also done work for Perry High School, Flint Energies and Central Georgia Technical College, handled the project alongside International City Builders.

After seeing some of JMA’s other work, former library Director Judy Golden said she worried the Perry library might look too modern.

Those concerns have been allayed.

“If this is not traditional, I don’t know what is,” she said.

While the library was closed, its books and services were moved to the old Perry Primary School. Houston County schools Superintendent Mark Scott was among a crowd of more than 100 at the ceremony, and he spoke highly of the relationship between the library and the school system.

“I feel like we’ve got one of the best library systems ... in Georgia, and it’s important for kids to have those resources,” he said.

The library is reopening just in time for the county’s students to use its services. Friday is the last day of school, so Perry’s young people could be looking for some summer reading.

“We try to instill a love for reading in our kids, and we couldn’t do it without the county and our library system,” Scott said.

To contact writer Jeremy Timmerman, call 744-4331.