No one spoke in opposition to the purchase of a six-acre tract at the corner of Old Highway 41 and Blue Springs Road, which was approved by a 4-0-1 vote, Tuesday, with Commissioner JoAnn Birrell absent.
The $8.6 million library would be paid with funds collected through a special purpose local option sales tax, if voters agree to extend the six-year tax in November.
Commissioner Helen Goreham said the addition of the proposed library is long overdue.
“The existing libraries have become too small to effectively provide services for the cities’ increasing populations,” Goreham said. “They’re reaching critical mass.”
She said Kennesaw’s library is the sixth busiest in the system and the fifth busiest in terms of computer usage, but only has 5,000 square feet to work with.
The Acworth Public Library is only 3,000 square feet.
The new library would be about 30,000 square feet and include meeting rooms, a black box theater, the latest computer technology and a large children’s section for youth reading programs.
The two existing libraries would close and be consolidated into the regional library, Acworth Mayor Tommy Allegood said. He is looking forward to a library that will better serve the two cities, he added
“The new library is going to offer so many more services to the citizens in our community,” he said. “The county has carefully analyzed the library service needs for Acworth, Kennesaw and Cobb County and has determined replacement of the two libraries with a regional library will best serve the needs of citizens in Cobb.”
With approval granted, the county will conduct an investigation into the property owned by Synovus Bank. There will be a land survey, soil tests, property appraisal, title search and environmental work studies. The county will be handling the investigation. Funding for the inspection was authorized by the commissioners to come from the county’s general fund.
The inspection should begin in several weeks, and based on the results, the county could close on the property in October, spokesman Robert Quigley said. Construction will start when the purchase is complete and should take eight months.