O’Kelly Memorial Library, Loganville. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel
Current library lacks room for expansion
After long months of debate and controversy, the Loganville City Council finally selected a location for a new city library, but not without some last minute debate.
The city has been looking into building a new library for some time, as state funding is available to help build a new library and replace the current location at the intersection of Highways 78 and 20.
The current Loganville library has no room to expand where it sits, so a new location was considered key, despite opposition from some citizens who argued the expense was unnecessary and felt a new library was a superfluous luxury.
The city council ultimately disagreed, however, agreeing to move forward on the project and even committing some city funds to the project, should it move forward. To do that, however, the council needed to select land on which to build the new library structure and the council members debated for more than an hour on where to situate the library.
Ultimately, the council vacillated between two locations — one at the corner of Main Street and Lawrenceville Highway, right in front of the current City Hall, and one in the downtown district across from Loganville First United Methodist Church, between Main Street, Covington Street and Lucy Street.
Council members in favor of the City Hall land argued it would leave the other land available for further
commercial growth, while the second location was favored by others on the council for bring centrally located.
Ultimately, the latter view prevailed, as the council voted 4-2 in favor of setting aside two acres across from the Methodist church for the library, with only Melanie Long and Jay Boland voting against the
measure. The library and city will negotiate an intergovernmental agreement to refine the boundaries and agree on shared parking but officials hope to get moving on the project later this year.