Greenville County set to open new library near Woodruff Road

The addition of a library in the Five Forks area of Simpsonville has been a topic of discussion for more than 20 years. Renderings provided by Greenville County Library System.

A new library in Greenville County is set to open this month.

The Greenville County Library System announced last week that it plans to hold a grand-opening celebration for its Five Forks Branch from 2-6 p.m. on Sunday, March 25.

The 28,000-square-foot library, which is located at the intersection of Woodruff Road and Sunnydale Drive in Simpsonville, was scheduled to open in September, but construction was delayed when officials had to negotiate a new route for the building’s sewer line, according to Beverly James, executive director of the Greenville County Library System.

The new library features a large active-learning area for children with an adjacent porch for hands-on play and social skill development, according to James. It also features a quiet reading room, public computer area, dedicated space for teens, multipurpose collaboration space, a drive-up window for picking up reserved materials, and more.

“The larger size of this new branch gives us the opportunity to offer features the public has asked for that we have not been able to accommodate in other branches,” James said.

James added that the addition of a library in the Five Forks area of Simpsonville has been a topic of discussion for more than 20 years.

In 1993, Greenville County Council approved an ordinance to replace nine existing library branches and the main library branch in downtown Greenville as well as construct a library on Woodruff Road. In 2004, the Greenville County Planning Commission identified the Five Forks area as a potential site for a new library branch because of its growth.

The Five Forks area is the most densely populated area of Greenville County without a public library within 2 to 3 miles, according to the county. It also has a higher projected annual population growth rate compared to any other branch service area. In 2010, more than 56 percent of nearly 7,800 households within a 2-mile radius of the Five Forks area were library users.

Since 2004, the county has agreed to multiple mixed-use developments that would include the construction of a library near Woodruff Road. “We decided to just buy the land, because the developments kept falling through,” James said. “It’s taken us a little longer than we expected, but this library is going to be well-used.”

The county purchased the land for $910,000 and spent about $8.5 million to construct and outfit the new library, according to James. The project was completely funded by the library system’s accumulated capital fund reserves with no bond issue necessary.

The Five Forks Branch library will be open from 9 a.m.-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays; 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays; and 2-6 p.m. Sundays.

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