MONROE – Union County will build a public library on the campus shared by Cuthbertson middle and high schools.
County commissioners approved an agreement Jan. 21 with Union County Public Schools that outlined terms and conditions of using the school property, which includes the district having input on programming and access to 50% of study rooms and certain meeting rooms rent-free.
“This was a long process of vetting, of discussions, of common understanding and purpose,” County Manager Mark Watson said. “We’ve hammered out all of those issues.”
He said staff now has the charge of immediately moving forward with construction.
The agreement requires the county to award a construction contract within three years, open the library within four years and install sidewalk connecting the building to the school property within a year of opening. Otherwise, the school district may consider reclaiming the property.
This was a major sticking point for the district as explained by school board member Kathy Heintel during a Dec. 3 facilities committee.
“One of the things we want to do is make sure it is always going to be used for a library,” Heintel said, noting the 16 acres would have two schools next to it.
Construction will impact Cuthbertson’s existing cross-country trail. The school district has already had discussions with the county about restructuring the trail.
Residents approved a $10.1 million bond referendum in 2016 for the construction of a library in western Union County. The county chose the Cuthbertson campus after hearing recommendations from trustees of the Union County Public Library.