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Government offices and library will offer range of services in one location
The Library Advisory Board voted at its July 8 meeting to locate the new, expanded Oconee County Library in the future Oconee County Government building, which will be built on 7.63 acres at the southeastern corner of the intersection of Macon Highway and Veterans Memorial Parkway. The Oconee County Board of Commissioners recently purchased this land with funds from the 2004 SPLOST.
The library is currently located at 1080 Experiment Station Road in Watkinsville and is scheduled for expansion; however, its current site provides insufficient room for growth and increased parking.
Plans for the future combined Administrative Building and Oconee County Library include an estimated 65,000-square-foot building, which will house the non-judicial government functions currently located in the Oconee County Courthouse and the Oconee County Annex, as well as the new library. Co-locating county offices and the library will provide cost-savings for both the county government and the library. The site, located across from Fire Station 1, is easily accessible by residents in all areas of the county.
“Housing the new Oconee County Library within the new Oconee County Administrative Building improves service levels for the community and makes good financial sense,” says Oconee County Board of Commissioners Chairman John Daniell. “This plan will save taxpayer dollars, while providing both the county and the library with larger work spaces and room to grow while serving community needs. Residents will benefit from being able to pay their vehicle tags and visit the library with one stop. Library patrons will also benefit from increased parking for the library’s many popular programs. This dual-purpose building will truly be a center for our community.”
"We are excited about the possibilities and opportunities a new space will hold for our patrons,” says Athens Regional Library System Executive Director Valerie Bell. “The Oconee County Library is deeply engaged in our community, and we look forward to working with the Oconee County government on this project."
"The Oconee County libraries are proud to serve this community, and we are excited for the future," says Oconee County Branch Managing Librarian Cara Karnes.
For more information about Oconee County Government, visit www.oconeecounty.com. For library information, visit www.athenslibrary.org.