A long planned part of Snellville’s Towne Center development officially broke ground on Tuesday.

City officials joined their counterparts from the Gwinnett County Board of Commissioners and the Gwinnett library system to break ground on the new two-story Elizabeth Williams library branch, which will be part of the development that is located near Snellville City Hall. The $10.2 million library is jointly funded by the city and the county using 2017 special purpose local option sales tax funds.

“I would like to express our heartfelt thank you to the Library Board of Trustees and our Gwinnett County Commissioners for their willingness to relocate the Snellville library branch to be an integral part of the activity here in the Towne Center,” Snellville Mayor Barbara Bender said. “This library and business center will give people of all ages a reason to come to The Grove and participate in civic life together and add to the history of our community in a modern way.”

The library will be located on the first floor of the new facility while Snellville will use the second floor for educational purposes. Snellville officials previously indicated a business incubator would be located in the building.

The Towne Center development also includes housing that is under construction as well as retail and dining spaces that are planned as well. The overall development broke ground last summer.

But, Tuesday was a day for officials to highlight the new library in particular. It will replace an existing branch on Lenora Church Road.

“This building will serve as a hub for knowledge, culture, literacy and business, all in the heart of the city of Snellville,” Gwinnett Board of Commissioners Chairman Nicole Love Hendrickson said. “Because of SPLOST, we’re able to reinvest in our community and provide high-quality facilities that will become centers for learning and innovation in the future.”

Commissioner Jasper Watkins, whose district includes Snellville, added, “This new facility is a great example of what can be achieved when local governments collaborate for the benefit of our residents. Downtown Snellville is undergoing transformative growth, and the new library will fit right in with a convenient location and state-of-the-art space that will entice patrons to experience the library’s world-class resources.”

And, Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees Secretary JT Wu said, “Designed as a best-in-class innovative hub with the latest in resources and creative technologies, this new branch symbolizes the best that Gwinnett County has to offer — an inclusive and top-tier educational resource that caters to the unique needs of our growing and diverse population.

“All of us here at the library are thankful to be partnering with so many forward-looking leaders at the County, the city of Snellville, the Library Foundation and more who recognize that investing in education, doubling down on progress and fully supporting our staff and our cities is the pathway to building an even greater Gwinnett.”

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta and eventually wandered to the University of Southern Mississippi for college. Earned a BA in journalism (double minor in political science and history). Previously worked in Florida and Clayton County.

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