Groups ask county to reconsider Central Library site choice

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The Central branch of the Forsyth County Public Library, 660 West Fifth Street.

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — Forsyth County has begun its search for an architect to design a renovated Central Library, but the Winston-Salem Alliance and other influential groups have been working behind the scenes to encourage the county to reconsider its site choice.

Winston-Salem Alliance has offered to pay for a detailed cost analysis of the former Sheriff’s Office building on Third Street for comparison with the current library site on Fifth Street. The sheriff’s building location has generated strong support in the community and was the top choice for three of the county’s seven commissioners.

Forsyth County commissioners Chairman Richard Linville said Friday that he had polled the four commissioners who voted for a renovation at the current site to gauge their interest in the Alliance’s request, but the vote was the same.

“I do appreciate the interest of all those out there that is intensely interested in the Central Library. … But when a majority decides on an issue, you just can’t keep going back and forth. You have to move on,” Linville said on Friday.

Linville is sending a letter to Winston-Salem Alliance Chairman Don Flow that states that a majority of the commissioners still believe a renovation at the current site within the current budget “is the best course of action.”

In a letter dated Nov. 26, Flow informed Linville that the alliance had unanimously voted to request the county prepare a detailed cost analysis of the top two library sites.

“Based on these cost analysis, the community can determine if it has the ability to raise private funds to cover any cost differential between the two sites, including any value that the sale of the former Sheriff’s building might have,” the letter said.

Winston-Salem Business Inc., Downtown Winston-Salem Partnership and Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce also sent letters to the county in support of the Alliance’s request.

Read full story: The Winston-Salem Journal

1 Comment

  • Mark Stabler

    Neither of these locations are ideal. Seems to me there is less parking available near the old Sheriff’s Office. What they really need is a location with room to grow and lots of parking on site. It doesn’t have to be in the middle of downtown to be effective for the citizens of Forsyth County and Winston Salem.

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