When Jon McDaniel became director of Forsyth County’s library system in 1996, all his goals were displayed on one map.
“We put a map of Forsyth County on the wall and put push-pins in it wherever we thought would be a logical location for a library,” he said.
As he spoke during a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning for the Post Road Library, McDaniel said the facility “is the final push-pin that was on that map.”
“So when y’all come back this time next year for the dedication ceremony, I’ll be proud to say that you now have a full-service branch library in every geographical sector of Forsyth County” he said.
The Post Road branch will be the system’s fourth, joining Cumming, Sharon Forks and Hampton Park, the most recent addition.
Among those who attended Thursday’s groundbreaking were Michael and Patsy Bennett, who donated the 4-acre site for the library. He said the land has been in his family for eight generations. Yet, when his wife asked, he obliged.
“She worked for the library system for a long, long time and she was there when they did the study that showed where the libraries needed to be,” he said. “It’s good to see it happen. We’ve been waiting a long time to get a library in the Drew community.”
Forsyth County Commissioners Jim Boff and Todd Levent both spoke at the ceremony.
Levent said nearly 44,000 people, including his family, live in the area and some 14,000 of them are students in the public school system. The new library will serve Vickery Creek elementary and middle schools, as well as Midway Elementary and West Forsyth High.
Boff, who chairs the county commission, said between July 2011 and June of this year, more than half a million people visited the county’s three library branches. The system “continues to address the service demands for a well-educated county population.”
Benning Construction Company was selected to build the library for nearly $4.2 million. The cost is shared between the county and state.
Also during the ceremony, District 27 state Sen. Jack Murphy of Cumming talked about his efforts to secure state funding for the library.
When he first moved to Forsyth, Gwinnett County was in charge of the local library. It was a risk for Forsyth to venture away, Murphy said, but “we have done very well in this county with our library system.”
Mary Helen McGruder, library board chairwoman, thanked Murphy, the commissioners and her fellow board members for their work. She also praised another group.
“The taxpayers of Forsyth County have decided to invest in our children and provide them with the opportunity to learn,” she said. “We’re always grateful for those who provide for the funds to do this.”
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