Volume 16, Number 2
It is a cause for celebration in Wake Forest that the Wake County Community Library on East Holding Avenue will close the week of Sept. 6 for destruction and construction. That celebration will be a party on Saturday, Sept. 2, from 12 to 2 p.m. with refreshments, face painting, entertainment by Flow Circus, and food trucks in the parking lot.
Soon after the library opened in 1996, town and area residents said it was too small at 5,000 square feet, and that chorus grew as the library began to circulate the most books in the county-wide system. They and other Wake residents were heard and they voted for a $45 million bond for library system expansion in 2007. The Wake Forest library was near the top of the construction/expansion list.
But then came the recession in 2008 before any work began. The county library system had to cut back as did all other county services, slashing the book-buying budget and freezing new hires.
As the economy recovered, the library system has also. In 2013, the Wake Forest library was renovated with new paint, carpet, chairs and tables.
The construction starting in late September will add a glass-walled addition to nearly double the building’s size to 9,000 square feet. With more space, there will be more librarians, more books, more computers and more programs. The library will probably be open more hours.
The project will cost $4 million, of which $2.7 million is for construction, planning and design, service fees, equipment, furniture, books and other costs.
In the year or so before construction is complete, Library Manager Valerie Pierce and her staff of 15 will be working in other county libraries. Besides herself, Pierce has one librarian, seven library assistants and six pages who are part-time library help in handling the flow of books in and out. There are also 10 adult volunteers and 12 teen volunteers.
The Wake Forest books will be fed into the county’s book circulation.
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The library will be just one of several new public construction/renovation projects in Wake Forest in the coming year. Those include the complete renovation of the Northern Wake Senior Center across from the library on East Holding Avenue; the destruction/construction of the Holding Park Pool; the construction of Stadium Drive to make it a complete street with more lanes and sidewalks/trails on each side; and the renovation of the Renaissance Centre beginning in January.