Stew Lilker’s

Columbia County Observer

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County Commission News

Fort White Public Library
Private dedication today at 10

The library from outside
The Fort White Library as it nears completion. There are no light bases or light poles anywhere on the site.

While the new Columbia County, Fort White Public Library is not quite ready for prime time, the Observer has learned that today - Friday, November 12, 2010, at 10am, there will be a private dedication ceremony in advance of the public dedication and grand opening. This event was scheduled for outgoing District II Commissioner, Dewey Weaver. Commissioner Weaver decided not to run for a fourth term and will not be a commissioner when the library is finished and opened for the public.

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Yesterday afternoon, workman were putting some final touches on their work before moving their ladders and clearing the main floor, as one of the bosses told the men that they would have to "stop work by 10 o'clock tomorrow because Dewey Weaver is retiring or something and his name is on the plaque."

It appears the November 12th dedication has been in the works for some time and there was plenty of time to notify the public of this event. The date is cast into the plaque.

A million dollar publically financed project without automatic fire suppression

The inside of the library looks like it will be very accommodating. A painter is putting some finishing touches on the inside before stopping his work to clean up for the unannounced dedication.

Early in 2009, County Manager Dale Williams explained that 5,000 sq. ft. building including the site work and architectural engineering fees was $791,000 excluding the property and furniture, fixtures and equipment.

Including moving expenses the project should be over a million dollars.

Every responsible fire official in Columbia County and all members of the public polled believe that at the minimum County public assembly buildings should have built in fire suppression, i.e., built in fire sprinklers.

The Fort White Public Library is another County building designed for public assembly without an automatic fire suppression system.

County tries to fix faulty design but leaves site in the dark

The checkout counter, which will face the left, will still face away from the door and toward the back wall. The sharp eye of the Observer at least got the county good old boys to put in a wall of windows.

The County tried to fix the faulty designed checkout desk but library site is left in the dark.

As pointed out by the Observer at numerous public and private meetings, the entrance design, with the checkout desk facing away from the front door was a disaster waiting to happen. This appears to be the only library anywhere, where the checkout counter was intentionally designed to face away from the entrance, although the County Manager Dale Williams explained to the Observer that the architects are design experts and have done many libraries.

Rather than turn the checkout desk around, the County quietly changed the plans. The director's office was removed, the shape of the counter was changed and windowed walls were installed.

The library, which is way off the road, in the woods, does not appear to have any outside lighting and the parking lots do not have lights.

This work by the Columbia County Observer is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.

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