New West Ashley library getting off the ground

New West Ashley library getting off the ground
July 08 13:19 2017 Print This Article

It has been nearly three years since Charleston County voters overwhelmingly approved a $108.5 Million bond referendum to build five new libraries and renovate 13 others. A schematic design has been produced for the new West Ashley library and a site has been selected. The 20,000 square foot facility will be located at the West Ashley High School campus.

The new library will include a computer training area and dedicated spaces for young children, teens, and community meetings. Audio-visual equipment will be installed in the teen and community spaces for presentations. The library will be equipped with state-of-the-art self-checkout kiosks and an automated book return conveyor system. A public presentation will be held on the library plans July 24 at 7 pm at a site yet to be determined.

The Charleston County library system lags well behind the standards recommended by the state library board. The state recommends that county library systems provide three computer terminals per 1000 residents. Charleston County currently provides less than one-third of that guideline. When the new (yet to be named) West Ashley library is completed (in 2019 or 2020), the Cynthia Hurd Regional Library at Village Square Shopping Center and the smaller library at South Windermere Shopping Center will be retrofitted to add computer terminals.

Ground is expected to be broken for the new library in the winter of 2018. Its site will be on a campus with West Ashley High School, the West Ashley Center for Advanced Studies technical center, and the new C.E. Williams Middle School.