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INDIAN LAND – Lancaster County and library officials and Indian Land residents tromped through the dirt and braved a chilly afternoon Sunday for the groundbreaking of the Del Webb Library at Indian Land.
Most of them probably wouldn't have missed the ceremony for the world.
Grading has already begun at the site, along U.S. 521, in what will be Carolina Commons, the commercial component of Sun City Carolina Lakes. Del Webb, Sun City's developer, contributed 2 acres to the project and Sun City residents are paying $1.5 million in bonds that will pay for construction costs.
"We're greatly indebted to them (Del Webb) and the homeowners of Sun City for their generosity," said Lancaster County Library Director Richard Band.
Indian Land residents have been waiting many years for a library of their own. Residents have to drive to Fort Mill or the city of Lancaster to check out books right now.
Indian Land Elementary/Middle School Principal David McDonald said he's looking forward to the continuing partnership between the county library system and the Lancaster County School District.
He said the new library will touch lives for many years to come. He stressed the importance of teaching children to read, and said the library will be another tool to do that.
"Teaching children to appreciate literature is an important role for all of us," McDonald said.
Retired teacher Trish Douglas, a lifelong Indian Land resident, said she took one of her first-grade classes to the Rock Hill library years ago. She remembers their mouths hanging open as they looked at all the books.
"They had never seen that many books in one place," Douglas said.
With all the growth in Indian Land, there is much debate about different developments and projects coming into the area. But no one could debate the need for a library, she said. A library will benefit everyone, young and old, longtime residents and new ones alike.
"This is going to be another stepping stone for our community," Douglas said. "I don't know a person who will not grow from this library."
About another $300,000 is needed to furnish and equip the library, which is scheduled to be complete by next November. Several individuals, companies and businesses have already made donations to the library, and library officials hope that with work going on at the site, it will inspire more.
Library board members and staff, and county and construction officials each grabbed a golden shovel to ceremonially dig into the dirt at the library site.
Library Board Chairwoman Karen Paulson, who has helped spearhead fundraising efforts for the Indian Land library, was particularly enthusiastic about the task.
"Keep going," she said, with a smile, as she dug several shovelfuls of dirt. "We're going to get this thing done."
Contact Jenny Hartley
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