Saturday, June 15, 2024

County wants feedback on new North Chase library branch

Nanover County Public Library is adding another branch and asking residents to give their insight in a survey. (Courtesy NHC Public Library)

NEW HANOVER COUNTY — The New Hanover County Public Library is adding another branch and asking residents to give their insight in a survey.

The fifth location will be built in the North Chase area.

The county allotted $1.3 million in its 2022-2023 budget for design. According to its 2023-2027 capital improvement plan, the new location is slated to have $8,410,500 allocated in the 2023-2024 budget, bringing its total to $9,444,540.

Questions on the survey include how often users frequent a public library and which branch, reasons for patronizing, and whether they would switch to North Chase upon its opening.

It also asks for ratings on a variety of items, such as if the frequented branch has adequate space, available parking, up-to-date technology, and is located close to public transportation.

Ideas on how to improve in the new location is also assessed. It asks surveyors to rate the importance of what the space needs: separate computer and instruction areas, sensory space or calming rooms, having access to furnishings adaptable for others to plug in their own smart devices, outdoor and green space, creative areas and labs, among other needs.

Insight on services and programming is also appraised, including assistance with training on new equipment, technology loans, access to public computers, adult and children’s events and activities.

The survey can be located here.

The county last added a new library branch in 2019 in the Pine Valley neighborhood at S. College Road and the 17th Street Extension. The $5.5 million branch offers more than 19,000 square feet of space, expanded parking and more programming than its former Myrtle Grove branch, which opened in 1992 and closed April 26, 2019 upon Pine Valley’s launch.

The county is also undergoing plans to update its downtown library in Project Grace. The plan is to raze the current building and construct anew to house the main branch and the Cape Fear Museum. The museum would relocate from Market Street though the building likely would be maintained for storage and other museum needs.

The Local Government Commission didn’t vote to approve financing the Project Grace deal last fall. The county originally intended for it to be a public-private partnership with Zimmer Development Group, which would also construct apartments, mixed-use retail and restaurants, and a hotel.

A new entity, Cape Fear Development, is now assessing interest in the project.

READ MORE: Another developer enters the game in pursuit of NHC’s Project Grace

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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