Good news for book worms in northern Forsyth County.
The Forsyth County Public Library's Hampton Park branch is one step closer to opening as leaders and officials will come together Dec. 11 to break ground on the Settingdown Road site.
Library Director Jon McDaniel said the branch's opening, which is scheduled for early 2010, has been a long time coming. It will be a welcome addition to the two other library locations.
"This branch will give us good balance in the county," McDaniel said. "We'll have this one in the north, one in the middle and one in the south."
The one in the south, the Sharon Forks branch, is on Old Atlanta Road, while the system's main branch is near downtown Cumming. A fourth branch, near Kelly Mill Road in west Forsyth, has a planned opening of 2012.
"Most people use libraries as more of a matter of convenience," said McDaniel, adding that it's important to balance facilities around the county.
"Unless people happen to be heading to downtown for work reasons or another reason, they may not visit [the Cumming Library]," he said. "In the north end, the population has risen, so this is a good time for the Hampton branch."
Construction will be funded with 1-cent sales tax money, impact fees and a construction grant from the Georgia Public Library Service.
The public is invited to attend the ground breaking at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 11, at the site between Hampton Park Drive and Cross Roads Road.
The $6.8 million building will open with 23,000 square feet of space and a collection of 60,000 items for adults, teens and children.
Library employee Carla Beasley said the building will be "just a little smaller than the Cumming Library and just a little larger than Sharon Forks Library."
Beasley, who is the assistant director for planning and facilities with the system, said the Hampton branch will be well positioned serve north Forsyth's rapid growth.
"That area is growing a lot," she said. "This library will serve not only the immediate area, but our projection is that it will draw from the whole north part of the county. We all know that part of the county is growing by leaps and bounds."
Like the existing branches, Hampton Park will be open seven days a week. It will house fiction, nonfiction and large print books, as well as children's and adult educational DVDs and music.
It also will feature multimedia programs, recorded books and periodicals. There will be 38 computer stations and wireless Internet.