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Sherrills Ford growth leads to new library

November 29, 2011

County officials say a new library in the Sherrills Ford area will help satisfy the community’s growing population and needs.

Catawba County has hired an architect to design a new county library in the Sherrills Ford area.

Officials have budgeted $2.9 million over the past several years for the building that will more than triple the space of the current branch in Sherrills Ford, said Dewey Harris, assistant Catawba County manager.

“The community is really excited about this project because they have so many needs in terms of meeting space,” Harris said. “We are fortunate that the (Catawba County Board of Commissioners) had the foresight to set aside dollars for this project.”

According to the Catawba County Library System, plans call for a 10,000-square-foot facility near the intersection of Sherrills Ford Road and N.C. 150 across from the former Terrell General Store.

The new library will sit on 2.5 acres owned by the Connor family and will be part of a larger mixed-use development for retail.

The new building will be more than three times the size of the existing library branch and will have dedicated space for children’s programs, community meetings and technology training, according to county information.

Harris said the Sherrills Ford community has limited public meeting areas — something the new library will provide.

“The existing meeting room is so small that when the community wants to meet, people are sitting in the children’s chairs,” Harris said. “It’s a big need the new library will address.”

The current location is also limited in terms of parking, and many residents are forced to park across the street from the current library if there is an event, Harris said. He said the new facility will offer adequate parking space.

Currently, the library serves a population of about 21,000.

County library officials say more space will also allow the library to expand its book collection. The Sherrills Ford branch currently houses about 16,000 items with an annual circulation of more than 55,000.

The estimated construction cost for the new library is $2.7 million, provided the building does not have “green” features. Those additions could increase the cost by $400,000 or more, according to the county.

The county has hired designers from Jenkins Peer Architects, of Charlotte, to draw plans for the building that should be complete in fall 2013, Harris said.

For more information on the Catawba County Library System, visit catawbacountync.gov/library.

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