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Waccamaw Library: Bids slip in under $3 million budget

By Jason Lesley
Coastal Observer

The low bid for the new Waccamaw Neck branch library has come in below $3 million, members of the Georgetown County library board learned last week.

FBI Construction of Horry County offered to build the new branch off Willbrook Boulevard for $2,946,250. Coastal Structures Corp. submitted a bid that was just $7,600 higher, and as a Georgetown County company, will be allowed to adjust its bid to match FBI’s. County Council will award the library bid in January, librarian Dwight McInvaill told board members. Construction could begin soon afterward with completion scheduled for late 2014.

Board members voted to accept a donation offered by Pawleys Pediatric and Adult Medicine for the opportunity to have naming rights to the children’s room and the children’s story time room in the new library. The donors asked that the amount of the gift remain confidential, McInvaill said. Information on the library website said a minimum donation of $25,000 was required for the naming rights of each room.

“We are overwhelmed with the generosity of these doctors,” McInvaill said. “Donations like this allow us to build a truly state-of-the-art community and learning center that will serve the area for generations to come. Pawleys Pediatrics and Adult Medicine, including doctors Larry Kelly, Scott Nicol, David Haseltine, Julia Wren and Mary Beth Ross, feel the library is an integral part of the community and wanted to help contribute to the building.”

Haseltine said literacy is an important part of people understanding their health. “Our local families and children have enabled us to make a living here in Pawleys Island,” he said in a news release. “Literacy is highly important for our community, and it allows our children and adults to understand their health issues better, to be able to take their medicine properly and to provide a good foundation for a healthy and successful life.”

McInvaill said the new 16,762-square foot library and community center will be a gathering place for the community with its auditorium, meeting rooms, exhibit areas and technology center. “The population growth on the Waccamaw Neck has made this space crucial,” he said. “Residents need access to resources and technology and spaces to meet, study and plan. The Library Center-Waccamaw is going to be at the heart of the community, providing a comprehensive, community-focused service.”

McInvaill told directors he is applying for two grants. An $8,000 “Know Your History” grant from the S.C. Humanities Council will be used to employ five professors to present Gullah lectures and make a film to be shown when the Georgetown County Library hosts the “Out of the Rice Fields” forum in 2015. The local forum will look at Gullah art and culture, McInvaill said. A $25,000 “Sparks Ignition Grant” from the Institute of Museum and Library Services will be used to assist interested teen-agers create a phone application for the library’s Morgan photo collection.

In other business, library board members learned:

• The Georgetown Friends Christmas Tour of Homes netted $4,000, and the Waccamaw Friends Holiday Book Sale met its goal by raising over $1,000.

• McInvaill will participate in a grants workshop at the Bunnelle Foundation headquarters on Jan. 15.

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