Jasper — On Sunday, Feb. 10 nearly 200 people turned out for the dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony for the new White Springs Public Library-Potash Corp. Building at 16403 Jewett Street.
It was a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and the grounds of the new library were filled with local residents, Hamilton County Commissioners, County Coordinator Danny Johnson, members of Live Oak's Friends of the Library, new White Springs Town Manager Bob Farley, and a host of other dignitaries to usher in a new beginning for the town of White Springs with a brand new public library that will serve its residents.
Suwannee River Regional Library Director Betty Lawrence welcomed everyone to the dedication ceremonies and gave a short speech about the history of the library in White Springs, which started out in a refurbished old gas station almost 40 years ago. Now, just a few short blocks up the street sits a beautiful new state-of-the-art library facility that even has rockers on the front porch to give it a homespun look that fits in with the overall design of the community.
Hamilton County Commissioner, District 4, Randy Ogburn gave the invocation and then thanked a long list of folks who were involved in making the project happen, including Hamilton County Correctional Institution, who, with inmate help constructed much of the interior shelving. He also thanked the Camp Family Trust for donating the land, and Potash Corp White Springs for their generous donation towards construction of the library.
Previous regional library director Danny Hales was recognized and thanked for his relentless efforts over the years in helping the county get the new library off the ground.
“This is a wonderful day,” Ogburn told the crowd. “This is an historical moment in our lives and in the lives of all Hamilton Countians.”
Some people, Ogburn said, didn't think the county could build a big enough, nice enough library with the amount of funds they had available.
“But we did it,” he said. “It looks great.”
Potash Corp. White Springs General Manager Terry Baker said, “We've all given time and effort to make this facility a reality and we are very, very proud.”
Once the red ribbon was cut to make things official, everyone filed inside to have a look around and be impressed. It was wall to wall people as everyone admired the new facility.
A temporary honor wall listing names of all the donors involved in the library project greeted everyone as they walked in the front doors. Pablo Gonzalez and Rosemary Canfield also donated a very special wall hanging. Gonzales took photos of the old building that used to sit on the rear of the property and Canfield utilized some of the wood from that building to create a beautiful frame for the photos, which now hangs in the foyer of the library.
A delightful assortment of refreshments was provided for all the guests, including a beautiful green and white cake sporting a photo of the library.
The White Springs Public Library-Potash Corp Building officially opens to the public on Monday, Feb. 11 at 1 p.m.