Duluth Library rendering

This rendering shows a proposed look for the new Duluth library branch which will be built in downtown Duluth, near City Hall. Gwinnett County commissioners approved a $4.99 million construction contract for the new library branch, which will replace an existing location on Duluth Park Lane.

A new Duluth library branch has been in the works for years, but the joint city-county project cleared a major hurdle Tuesday when Gwinnett County commissioners approved a construction contract for the branch.

The $4.99 million contract was awarded to Cooper and Company General Contractors Inc. The library is expected to take a year to build and is projected to open at the end of 2020, according to county officials.

“I’m very excited about it,” Commissioner Jace Brooks said after the vote. “We’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time, and I love the design.

“The city of Duluth played an instrumental part in looking at the architectural design, and they just did a phenomenal job. It just looks great and it’s going to fit well within the downtown area.”

The new branch will be a replacement for the existing facility located on Duluth Park Lane. The new facility will have 22,000 square feet of space and is expected to feature a community room and bigger areas where library staff can provide computer services, interactive programming and service and creative projects.

The branch will be located in downtown Duluth’s historic district, nearly catty-corner from City Hall, Brooks said.

“The city of Duluth had property and then we had bought adjacent piece of property,” the commissioner said.

Funding for the construction is coming 60% from the 2009 special purpose local option sales tax and 40% from the 2014 SPLOST funds.

I'm a Crawford Long baby who grew up in Marietta. I eventually wandered away from home and attended the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, Miss., where I first tried my hand at majoring in film for a couple of years. And then political sc

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