Rounette Johnson/For the Times
A member of the Coast Guard Reserve presents the colors as Coastal Carolina University student Blake Graham sings the National Anthem at the ground breaking of the new Library Center – Waccamaw on Friday.
The 17-year dream of the Friends of the Waccamaw Library to build a new facility moved closer to reality on Friday as ground was broken at the site of The Library Center – Waccamaw.
The new 17,000-square-foot library, which is scheduled to open by January 2015 on Willbrook Boulevard in Litchfield, will be bigger and have more parking than the current facility on Library Lane in Pawleys Island, which is 7,000 square feet.
Years of dreaming, planning, and fundraising proved a success.
“A community often has one chance in a lifetime to build a new library,” said Dwight McInvaill, Georgetown County library director. “This outpouring of the community shows how excited we are for the new library. We came together in 1996 and talked about building a new library. People of all ages and background will be able to enjoy this exciting milestone.”
In 2010, County Council approved $3.185 million to construct the facility on a site donated by the Georgetown County School Board next to Midway Fire and Rescue.
The Friends have been raising money to augment the county funds.
“About [$180,000] has already been raised and more donations are coming in,” said Ted Hiley, co-chair of the library’s fundraising committee. “While our journey is not complete … our destination is certainly in sight now.”
The Friends are still fundraising, in hopes of raising another $130,000 to upgrade and expand the new facility’s collection.
The new library will include:
• upscale technology;
• a large children’s area;
• a community meeting room that will seat 175;
• outdoor learning areas;
• an adult reading area with 40 percent more book shelves and a children’s area with 80 percent more book shelves than the current facility;
• plenty of outdoor seating area with landscaping, sidewalks and benches for relaxing.
Carlethia Rudolph, branch manager of the Waccamaw Library, has been with the library for 22 years and is excited for the community to see a dream fulfilled.
“Today our vision has been realized, and on behalf of the staff I’d like to say thank you.”
The Waccamaw Intermediate School steel drum band, members of the Murrells Inlet Community Theater, Olivia Huggins and the Beach Singers, and Marjory Wentworth, S.C. Poet Laureate, participated in the ground breaking celebration.
The Coast Guard Reserve presented the colors as Coastal Carolina University student Blake Graham sang the National Anthem.
Speakers included Jean Cross, co-chair of the library’s fundraising committee, and Georgetown County Council members Bob Anderson and Jerry Oakley.
Employees from the Georgetown and Carvers Bay branches also came out to celebrate the event.
At the children’s corner, 4-year-old Cullen Gerace and 21-month-old Aiden Boyette enjoyed the bubble blowing games, while the fifth-graders from Waccamaw Intermediate School showed off their talents at the robotics game.
Many from the community sat on lawn chairs and some stood as they enjoyed the festivities.
It was a great turnout and a sunny day with temperatures in the high 70s for a ground breaking ceremony.
To find out more about The Library Center-Waccamaw, visit the Friends of the Waccamaw Library website, www.thefowl.org, or call 843-979-0561.
By Rounette Johnson
For The Times
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