Central Library Groundbreaking Paves Way For Major Renovation Project
Forsyth County Commissioners, local leaders and community members broke ground Thursday on the new Central Library in downtown Winston-Salem.
It paves the way for a major renovation at the W. 5th Street branch. The 1950's portion of the building will be torn down this month. The library closed last October in preparation.
“We consider it the community living room and we’ll have more spaces for people to meet, an expanded children’s area with the latest technologies and a music recording room,” says Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, director of the Forsyth County Public Library.
Sprinkle-Hamlin says the project also includes new computer labs, a North Carolina Room that showcases local history, and a coffee shop.
Don Martin, vice chairman of the Forsyth County Commissioners, says more importantly, it will meet the education needs of the community.
“Once school lets out, a lot of kids need a place to go and this is it. Schools that are nearby use our services,” says Martin. “And it’s not just books, it’s everything. We provide access to the Internet and basically preschool education and literacy preparation as well as supporting kids. It’s something in our community that we sometimes take for granted, but these kinds of times provide an opportunity for us to celebrate that and really look for more extensive good for many years to come,” he says.
Frank L. Blum Construction Co. is the construction manager-at-risk for the project.
The renovation is part of a $40 million bond package approved by voters in 2010 for library projects.
It’s expected to open by summer 2017.
*Follow Keri Brown on Twitter @kerib_news.