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Gainesville branch 'like an entirely new library.' Take a look inside
The Gainesville branch of the Hall County Library System received a $5 million renovation. - photo by Scott Rogers

Gainesville’s renovated library will open Monday, Sept. 21. 

The downtown branch has been closed for more than a year to get about $5 million in upgrades. 

The renovated library features floor-to-ceiling windows with views of downtown Gainesville, a dedicated story time room, a space for genealogy and local history research and study rooms. The children’s section has been moved to the back of the library, further from the front doors, and the spiral staircase remains in its central location. 

The renovations of the 1970s-era building involved heavy demolition, including the removal of exterior walls and gutting of the interior space. 

"This is like an entirely new library -- just in the same location as the old one," Hall County Library System Director Lisa MacKinney said in a news release. 

A private ceremony with elected officials and key stakeholders will be held 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 17, to rededicate the building. It will be streamed live and  

Renovations began in spring 2019, and the library relocated to a temporary space across the street at 100 Brenau Ave.  

The work was funded by a $2 million grant from the University System of Georgia and about $3 million in city of Gainesville impact fees and county special purpose local option sales tax dollars.  

Social distancing and other guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control will be in place as the building opens to the public next week.