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Rock Hill Library Opens In Colonial Square

Library forced to vacate City Hall space to make way for redevelopment

January 20, 2006
Rock Hill Library administration is eager to get the word out about its new facility in Colonial Square Shopping Center at 9741 Manchester Road.

The new library opened with little fanfare on Jan. 4. A grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m.

"We're very happy that it's open finally," said John Shoulberg, president of the Rock Hill Library Board. "We're sorry to have been closed for five months or so, but we're happy with the location."

The old facility closed on July 31. It was located in the City Hall building which is slated for demolition to make way for the Market at McKnight development. At that time, the projection was to have the new facility opened in the fall.

While the new library took longer to complete than projected, Library Director Kelley Sallade said construction was on a "real fast track."

"Most libraries take a year to plan and move," Sallade said. "We had three months to plan and a month to move (from the old building)."

The new $300,000 library is 1,300 square feet larger than the old library, Sallade said.

"We went from 2,400 to 3,696 square feet," she noted. "We were so cramped (in the old space).

"The extra space allowed us to put all juvenile, fiction, non-fiction and primary books on shorter shelves so they're more accessible."

In addition to the lower shelves, the library has a a larger young adult section, more space for primary books and media, a reading area, eight computers for patrons, plus two "catalog" computers for patron use, a small programming room, and an administration office.

"We also got three circulation computers so people won't have to wait," Sallade said.

Patrons will also see more CDs, DVDs and more of its 30,000 volumes on the shelves.

"We'll also have children's programming, but it hasn't started yet," Sallade said. She noted the library will be equipped with free wireless Internet connection shortly.

"All in all I want this to be a meeting place for citizens and patrons," Sallade said.

Library patron Tamara Yanuck of Ladue said the new facility is "absolutely beautiful. It is so colorful and user friendly.

"We waited with bated breath for it to open," she said, who was looking at children's books with her 16-month-old daughter, Liza. Yanuck said she visits the library about once a week, noting that she likes its new location on the north side of Manchester Road.

Library officials expect to be at the new facility at least three years.

"We have a three-year lease there," Shoulberg said. "Meanwhile we will be looking at property for a free-standing library. Until we find something that we feel comfortable about purchasing and building a new library on, we will stay where we are for the time being."

"It could be longer than three years -- and probably will," Sallade said. She added that a new library would likely be at least 5,000-square feet.

Shoulberg said a lot of the money spent on the new facility was for items that will go into the permanent library.

Sallade noted that those items include everything from the shelving to the maple modular circulation desk. She also noted that old shelving was also used, but had to be retrofitted.

"We recycled and reused where we could," she said.

Costs for the new library were paid from the library property tax which has been collected since 2000.

Rock Hill Public Library


Monday - Thursday, noon to 9 p.m.

Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Colonial Square Shopping Center

9741 Manchester Road at Kortwright

phone, 962-4723 website, www.rockhill.lib.mo.us

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