After five months of expansion, the High Springs library branch in Alachua County announced plans for a grand opening in late September.
The grand opening will take place at the branch’s building, located at 23779 US-27, across from the High Springs Fire Department, at 10 a.m. on Sept. 24. The expansion, which adds about 3,000 square feet to the current building, cost $548,000, said Renee Patterson, a technical services administrator for the library.
“Expansion and renovations are part of our 20-year plan to meet the needs of our growing communities,” Patterson said. “The High Springs community has been a big supporter of the library from the beginning.”
The expansion at the library began March 14, according to the Alachua County Library District website. The additional space will include a larger meeting room, a quiet reading room, new restrooms and two study rooms. There will also be a renovation of the existing library space to include a teen room and a children’s room, said Alyce Brown, a librarian at the High Springs library.
“We are the heartbeat of High Springs,” said Brown. “The expansion was designed to meet the needs of our High Springs community.”
The new study rooms offer space to provide additional basic literacy and ESOL services to adults who struggle with reading or want to learn English. The larger meeting room will accommodate larger groups for programs and community meetings, Patterson said.
Along with the building, the library will also be expanding the parking lot and its DVD collection, which makes up one-third of the library’s checkouts, said Margaret Schmelz, a library page at the High Springs library.
“The expansion is very modern and patron-friendly, and a lot of thought has been put into it,” Schmelz said.
Judith Futch, a library patron who has been visiting the library for 30 years, said she was looking forward to the new expansion.
“I think it’s wonderful,” she said. “I think it’s great because the space was very limited, and now they’ll be able to have more programs.”