A new library may be coming to Columbus if citizens vote in favor of the ESPLOST


Muscogee County school officials voted to have a Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax for Education,or E-SPLOST on the March 24th election ballot.

The $185 million sales tax will be used to make renovations and repairs to Muscogee County Schools. Also on the list is adding a new library in North Columbus.

Chattahoochee Valley Libraries works under the Muscogee County School District along with the Columbus Museum. Alan Harkness is the director of the Chattahoochee Valley Libraries.

He says the Muscogee County School District is the only county in Georgia to have their public libraries under their school district and one of two in the country.

“It’s a really great relationship because public libraries are really part of public education and they seem to really like having us along as well. We try to make sure we have the programs and services and resources that would appeal to the kids and we really love the relationship that we have with Muscogee County School District,” Harkness said.

The Muscogee County School District put three million dollars towards building a new library in North Columbus in the proposed ESPLOST list. Harkness says the North Columbus Public Library has out grown its space.

“It’s not a very good site. The parking is difficult, it’s hard to drive in and out, from an ADA perspective the building is difficult to navigate inside. My mom uses a walker and wheelchair, so I’m particularly sensitive to that. Once you get inside of the building it’s better, but the longevity of the building isn’t that great,” Harkness said.

Harkness says they would like to build a new library in North Columbus. He says when the North Columbus Branch library was built almost 30 years ago, Northwest Columbus was not a residential area.

Harkness believes with an extra library in the North they would be able to serve people more efficiently.

“If the citizens of Muscogee County approve it, the ESPLOST will pay about three million dollars towards that facility. We could also get a grant from the state for about two million dollars. Between the two we should be able to put together a nice, decent library in the northern part of Muscogee county,” Harkness said.

Harkness says ideally he would like to have two libraries in North Columbus.

The Muscogee County School District will vote to approve the proposed list for the ESPLOST in December.

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