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Commissioners to hear more about proposed East Side library

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Athens Regional Library System via Facebook

Athens-Clarke County Commissioners will be talking tonight about a new library slated for the east side of town.

The proposed east side library is one of more than three dozen projects approved overwhelmingly by Clarke County voters as part of the SPLOST 2020 package. The total budget for the project will be just over $16 million, including some available grant funding from the state. For that price tag, residents will get a facility with about 16,000 square feet of space, less than the 25,000 – 30,000 originally requested by library officials, along with furniture, fixtures, books, and the land on which the library will be built.

Construction costs are estimated at $7.5 million, with construction expected to start in early 2024.

In choosing a site for the building, which hasn’t yet been determined, SPLOST committee members prioritized walkability, proximity to schools, and closeness to underserved communities. Must-have attributes for the library itself include the ability to handle 200,000 visits per year, space for 50,000 books, and multipurpose and meeting spaces.

Tonight’s work session for the Mayor and Commission begins at 5:30 and will be streamed on the county’s YouTube page.

Martin Matheny was promoted to Program Director and Content Strategist on July 1, 2022. He has served as the Executive Producer of our local news program 'Athens News Matters', and he covers local government for WUGA News. He started at WUGA in 2012 as a part-time classical music host and still hosts WUGA's longest-running local program 'Night Music' which is heard on Tuesdays and Wednesdays on WUGA at 10pm. 'Night Music' can also be heard statewide on the GPB Classical stream Mondays and Tuesdays at 8pm. As part of 'Athens News Matters' Martin works with student interns to help cultivate the next generation of Public Media rock stars! In his spare time Martin is an amateur book binder and freelance musician who frequently performs with Big Band Athens playing bass trombone. He lives in Normaltown with his wife, Shaye and dog, Murphy.
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