By Billy Corriher
Whenever Lovejoy resident Eileen Misek wants to go to her local library for a good book, she must drive all the way to Jonesboro because there is no public library in southern Clayton County. But in less than a year, Misek will be able to check out a book with much less hassle.
Construction of the Lovejoy Branch Library will begin after the Clayton County Board of Commissioners approves the contract at its meeting on Tuesday.
Misek said that, as much as southern Clayton County has grown recently, a library in Lovejoy is long overdue. "They've done a lot of building in the seven years I've been here," she said. "It'll be great to finally have a library."
The library will located near the Lovejoy Regional Park at the intersection of McDonough and Loop roads and will serve all the schools in the southern part of the county. It will have shelving for 60,000 books and computers for Internet access and educational games for children.
Carol Stewart, director of library services, said the county was able to build the library after finally securing state funding. "We have wanted to build this library for 10 years," she said.
Residents of Lovejoy have been asking about a library for years, but Stewart said that funding from the state for public libraries has been very scarce in that time.
The Lovejoy library was only funded because of the insistence of Clayton County's state representatives and Board Chairman Crandle Bray, she said.
The library will cost just over $2 million to build, of which $1.4 million will be state funded.
Stewart said that now Lovejoy residents will have the same opportunities as the rest of the county without having to drive 25 minutes.
"Having a public library in the general vicinity of your home is important for students and for families," she said.
In addition to awarding a contract for construction of the Lovejoy Branch Library, the board of commissioners will also consider a contract to evaluate the county's Traffic Control Center and traffic management operations and will make appointments to the county Hospital Authority Board.
The scheduled public hearing on the Ellenwood Town Center Redevelopment Plan was postponed until the board's Dec. 16 meeting.