A new Clinton Public Library that “fits our mission statement to a T,” according to the county’s library director, was ground-broken under a bright summer sun but on a shady urban lot Thursday morning, just steps from the center of municipal government.
Renita Barksdale, library director, was one of nine speakers who gave brief celebratory remarks to start the bricks and mortar portion of a project two years in the making. A new Clinton Public Library is one of 16 community-enhancement projects approved by a majority of Laurens County voters in the Capital Projects Sales Tax referendum of Nov. 3, 2020.
The Clinton Library has been in a temporary spot for 20 years, Barksdale said. “I want to thank the steering committee and our board of trustees, we met many Thursdays to decide what we want in a library … we want something modern, however, also traditional. We want people to say, ‘Yes, it belongs here’, a design the community will be proud of for many years to come.”
Fitting the Laurens County Public Library’s mission statement of educate, empower and educate, the new library will have the space, now, for a dedicated children’s area and a teens area, computer lab and meeting rooms, a “makers” area where young people can explore science and technology, and reading gardens.
The new Clinton Public Library will be at 304 Pitts Street, within Uptown Clinton.
“Libraries are a very, very vital part of our community … besides EMS, it’s one of the best things we can offer a community. It’s great to see that they will get their own free-standing library right here in the heart of Clinton, South Carolina,” Brown Patterson, chairman of the Laurens County Council, said to applause from the ground-breaking ceremony audience.
In addition to Barksdale and Patterson, speakers for the occasion were Jamie Lambert, deputy director; Buz Wilcoxon, acting president and chaplain of Presbyterian College; County Administrator Thomas Higgs; Walter Hughes, chairman, Capital Projects Sales Tax Committee; Wanda Woody, president, Library Board of Trustees; Patricia Moberg, president, Friends of the Library; and Clinton Mayor Randy Randall.
“When they see this library, people will say, ‘Yes, this is what a library should be,’” Woody said. “We wanted a library that would serve everyone - I want to thank the current workers and the staff for how they serve the patrons. The library is going to be such an important part of this community.”
Studio 2L & Studio Shea have the architectural and engineering contract (Sept., 2021) and Solid Structures, West Columbia, has a $3.122 Million construction contract (late May, 2023). The CPST referendum listed this as a $4.35 Million project.
Laurens County Public Library on web here.
LCPL Facebook here.
Laurens County Capital Projects Sales Tax here.