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Historic Clermont library renovation on track

POSTED: May 14, 2013 12:32 a.m.
Scott Rogers/The Times

The old gymnasium at the Clermont DIP Library and History Center undergoes major renovations Monday afternoon. Crews are currently preparing wallboard for painting as the gymnasium will become a meeting room and community center.

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Volunteers at the Historic Clermont DIP Library opened its one-room library in the town’s gym last year, but soon there will be more room to spread out.

Hall County commissioners in December approved spending more than $500,000 to renovate the gym to provide more space. The funding is from the collection of special purpose local option sales tax revenue. The building, which also houses the Clermont Historical Society, is owned by the county.

The work is making progress and Sandra Cantrell, president of the historical society, which manages the library, said she thinks the new space will be done before the end of summer.

“It’s coming together,” she said.

There’s no room to do classes, have talks or stage book signings, Cantrell said. The library hosted a show-and-tell event in March that was well attended, she said.

“You really need someplace to put your guests,” Cantrell said.

The library officially opened more than a year ago after determined residents created one from donated books and volunteer staff. The town residents were upset the county decided to build a park and technology center on Nopone Road instead of in the town. The technology center is open from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

The construction started around the beginning of April, Cantrell said.

The gym is more than 6,000 square feet. The renovated space will include a large auditorium with seating for 200 people, a media room and a large concessions area, said David Anthony, a construction worker with the general contracting firm Scroggs & Grizzel.

“I’m working in my own backyard,” said Anthony, a town resident. “It’s nice that Clermont is getting a facility.”

The workers still need to finish several tasks, including completing the wallboard, painting and finishing the floors, Anthony said.

“Isn’t it going to be wonderful?” volunteer coordinator Janet Williams asked. “It’s going to be such an asset to this community.”

Cantrell said the media room should be able to fit three or four computers inside it. The library will have wireless for laptop connection.

The town deserves to have a nice library, Williams said.

“The citizens deserve it because we pay taxes just like everyone in the county,” Cantrell said.

Once the gym space opens, some of the adult books will move into the media room and the children’s books will take center stage near the main entrance. Many children who attend the Chattahoochee Christian School across the street frequent the library.

“We cater to the children,” Williams said.


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