Hundreds attend Central Library reopening

Photo by Tevin Stinson

Hundreds attend Central Library reopening
September 07
05:00 2017

The Forsyth County Central Library is back and better than ever.

After closing its doors for nearly two years, last Thursday hundreds of people attended the grand reopening of the library, located on Fifth Street.

Residents both young and old gathered on the sidewalk nearly an hour before the ceremonial ribbon was scheduled to be cut outside the library, which closed in October 2014 to begin renovations. The project, which cost $28 million, added more than 20,000 square feet to the original structure and helped push the county’s largest library into the future.

Along with more than 250,000 books and other literature, the finished product includes: an auditorium with more than 200 seats, an instructional kitchen, children’s story and craft rooms, an area for teens, more than 100 public computers, a makerspace, and an audio production room that is scheduled to be complete in coming months. Other features include a café, several meeting spaces, and a rooftop terrace on the third floor that provides a unique view of the city.

During a ceremony held outside the library, David Plyler, chairman of the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners, said he would put the Central Library up against any library in the state. He said, “What you have now is the most interesting library I’ve ever been to. I would say this is probably the most up-to-date, highly technical library in the state of North Carolina. That’s something we should really be proud of.”

Commissioner Don Martin, who also serves as the vice chairman of the Board of Commissioners, said the county was fortunate to have several organizations and people come forward willing to make monetary donations to the project. He said the county received more than $400,000 in grants and gifts. 

Sylvia Sprinkle-Hamlin, director of the Forsyth County Library, said she was excited to finally open the doors on the building that will serve as the community’s “living room.”

She said, “We are excited to finally be providing a 21st century building which will serve as a civic space encompassing the role of a public library, community living room and a cultural center.”

Once the doors of the library were officially opened, residents rushed in to explore. Some went straight to the books, while others, armed with camera phones, recorded everything they saw for friends and loved ones who couldn’t make the grand opening.

City native Diane Fitzhugh found a comfy spot beside an electronic fireplace on the top floor. She said she was amazed by the work done on the library.

“This gives us a glimpse of what the future of libraries can be. It’s exciting to be here today and be a part of history,” Fitzhugh said.

While taking a photo of a painting of the late Maya Angelou hanging on a wall, Darris Fleming, who was a regular at the Central Library before it closed in 2014, said the two-year wait was worth it.

“I think this is beautiful. I know it took a while to finish, but I think this was something that needed to be done,” Fleming said.

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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