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County breaks ground on new branch library

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By Tom Flanigan

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/wfsu/local-wfsu-993238.mp3

Tallahassee, FL – What was once a supermarket will become a new Leon County Library branch. Tom Flanigan reports the library will be part of a shopping center transformation.

Instead of breaking ground with shovels, officials used sledge hammers to smash concrete blocks. Northwest District County Commissioner John Dailey says it's a different kind of construction project.

"Two years ago, we had a tremendous idea to bring forth before the county commission and that was instead of building the free-standing we needed to look at the assets we have in District Three and see how we can sustainably move forward with the library system by redeveloping Huntington Oaks."

So the new library will occupy the old Harvey's Supermarket space. A new community center will go where the library is now. The entire shopping center at Fred George and US 27 will get a face lift and the surrounding area will get new sidewalks and bike lanes. Northwest resident and former Leon County School Superintendant Bill Wooley is among those impressed with the project.

"We got signs up and we got banners up and finally the people on this end...the Northwest end feels like the forgotten coast. I think this is first class."

The new Northwest Library should be finished by late next summer or early next fall. The community center and other parts of the project should be done a few months later.