Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Wins State Grant for New Fleming Island Library 5-Acre Site Called Perfect

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Clay Wins State Grant for New Fleming Island Library 5-Acre Site Called Perfect

Article excerpt

Byline: R. Michael Anderson, County Line staff writer

In a race for a half-million dollars in state money to help build a new library, Clay County has come out the winner over 12 other counties and municipalities.

"We came out No. 1 out of 13 applicants for a public library construction grant," said Arnold Weeks, county library director. "We're hoping we get at least $500,000. There's a possibility it could be a little less, or a little more."

The new $4 million library will be built on Fleming Island at the northeast corner of Radar Road and Town Center Boulevard -- a major north-south corridor linking Eagle Harbor's commercial district with the new Fleming Island Plantation development about a half-mile south of County Road 220.

Weeks said the 5-acre site, donated by Eagle Harbor at Fleming Island Joint Venture Inc., could not be a better location for a public library.

"It's across the street from the soccer fields [county-owned Thunderbolt Park] on Radar Road and it's very close to the new high school being built on Fleming Island," he said. "That's why we sited it where we did. It's an ideal location."

Also, it's high and dry ground, he said, which will keep construction costs down and the comfort level up for students and faculty who have to walk across campus during the rainy season.

"It's not going to require a lot of fill," Weeks said. "It's somewhat level and drains well."

County commissioners received the good news about the library grant from County Manager Bob Wilson during a board meeting June 12.

"I am pleased to announce that the Clay County library was ranked No. 1 in the state for a grant up to $500,000," Wilson told commissioners.

The money, Wilson said, will be used to help build a library and "new headquarters" for Weeks and his staff, who currently occupy space in the Orange Park branch library on Plainfield Avenue. …

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