POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - The City of Pooler has been in the headlines plenty over the past week after announcing a Costco, iFLY, Chick-fil-a and Starbucks are all likely coming to town.
But there’s another project the city is now working on which may be even more valuable to their community as a whole.
“We’ve been working on this project for a long time. We’ve recognized the need for it for a long time,” said Live Oak Public Libraries Executive Director David Singleton.
“It’s very much out of date, we need a larger building,” added Pooler Mayor Rebecca Benton.
The Pooler Library has seen better days.
“Golly, if I’m not mistaken it was built in the late 70′s or early 80′s,” said Mayor Benton.
It appears the city has outgrown its current location.
“Pooler is one of the fastest growing areas in Chatham County, in fact, it’s the second fastest growing area in Chatham County,” Singleton said.
It’s an area that Live Oak Public Libraries has felt needed a larger location for quite some time and it appears now that could happen.
“The City of Pooler heard us, and they included as part of their piece of the Chatham SPLOST,” said Singleton.
The SPLOST, will help the city raise $5 million for the project, plus, “we’ve also applied for a $2 million grant from the state legislature,” Singleton says.
As for the land, “the city is offering the property just across the eastbound Highway 80 lanes (in old Pooler),” said Mayor Benton.
It’s just across from City Hall, offering plenty of room to let them grow.
“We’re looking at a branch of roughly 20,000 square feet,” Singleton says.
That, compared to the 6,800 square feet at their current location.
While their story isn’t finished, both the city and Live Oak hope to turn the page and give Pooler a happy ending.
“We want to create that sense of community with meeting rooms, with study rooms, with programming space that the community really feels like is theirs,” said Singleton.
The next step in the project will be putting together a Program Plan which they hope to do within the next six months.
However, Singleton believes they may not know if they’ll get the grant money until sometime next year.
In total, Mayor Benton believes the project could cost around $10 million, currently leaving them $3 million short of the money needed.
As for the former library, Live Oak is giving it back to the city and they plan to renovate it to be used by the police department.