Two representatives of the Columbia firm J.B. Wheeler & Company presented a lovely design for a new Clinton Public Library at Monday evening’s City Council meeting.
Designed around the old Industrial Supply warehouse on West Main Street, it is an impressive example of architecture that captures the historic feel of a familiar city landmark with the changing uses of the modern library.
The project is moving ahead in terms of planning and strategy, but it’s a long way from happening.
The entire project is dependent on being approved by a countywide commission still being formed to set priorities for the use of possible funds raised by a Capital Projects Sales Tax, not to mention the passage of the 1 percent sales tax by voters in a referendum on Nov. 3, 2020.
Jeffrey B. Wheeler conducted the presentation with the assistance of his son and partner, Zachary.
Since a faulty roof, deemed too dangerous for public use, forced the closing of the old library, the library has existed in a shopping center at 107 Jacobs Hwy., near Presbyterian College. What was considered a temporary home of the library in 2005 remains in use as part of the Laurens County Library system.
According to Wheeler & Co. and Garvin Design Group, the price tag of the project is $3,875,000, which includes $500,000 required by CSX Transportation, operator of the railroad that runs at the border of the proposed library property, to provide a “quiet zone” for library patrons, and a permit process with the National Park Service to revise the town’s officially recognized historic district.
The facility, if eventually approved, will not be all library. The area of the existing Industrial Supply building will use five compartments on the west side for the library and the three on the east for retail space in a private/public partnership. The initial floor plan has been tentatively approved by state officials.
Wheeler & Wheeler would provide equity. Wells Fargo would handle construction financing. The county would provide funding, and the City of Clinton would be responsible for upkeep of the building.
Council passed, on first reading, a streamlining of city codes and an upgrade to eliminate parts that have grown irrelevant or redundant over time. Recommendations from the Accommodations Tax Advisory Committee, represented by Kay Addison, were tabled unanimously for now at the suggestion of Ward 3’s Robbie Neal. Among the recommendations were allocations to Clinton Canopy, the 2020 Scots & Brats festival (this year’s event is Saturday), lighting for the Presbyterian College baseball stadium and establishment of a visitor’s center in the Bailey Municipal Center.
Susan Galloway appeared to request the city’s support for the Miller Forks trail near Interstate 26. City Manager Bill Ed Cannon later pointed out that the city has no authority to fund the trail because it is not within the city limits, and it is not currently feasible for the city to consider annexation.
In one vote, Council approved proclamations declaring October as the official month of awareness of breast cancer, domestic violence and dyslexia, as well as crime prevention.
An ordinance for the sale of city-owned property passed on second reading, and council took no action on “a contractual matter relating to the sale and purchase of real property” discussed in executive session.