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3 Charleston County libraries close for renovations. Work begins in October.

  • Updated
St. Andrews library is now the Cynthia Graham Hurd library (copy)

The Cynthia Graham Hurd/St. Andrews Regional branch from June 2016. The Imani Milele Children’s Choir from Uganda sang at a dedication and naming ceremony. Hurd, one of the Emanuel AME Church shooting victims, was branch manager at the time of her death. File

Three Charleston County regional libraries have closed for renovations, with work expected to begin in the coming weeks. The projects are part of an ongoing $108.5 million referendum voters approved in 2014.

The libraries affected are the Otranto Road Regional Library in North Charleston, the Johns Island Regional Library on Johns Island and the Cynthia Graham Hurd/St. Andrews Regional Library.

They were closed at the end of August and are expected to remain shuttered about a year, Charleston County library communications manager Doug Reynolds said. 

Renovations are said to include replaced shelving, refreshed books and audiobooks, new furniture, tech upgrades, new children and teen areas, and other interior finishes. That work is targeted to begin in October, Reynolds said.

For those looking for alternative libraries to visit during the closures, they include:

  • For the Otranto Road library, the closest branch is at 6325 Dorchester Road in North Charleston. 
  • For the Johns Island library, the closest option is the Baxter-Patrick branch at 1858 S. Grimball Road on James Island. 
  • For the Cynthia Graham Hurd/St. Andrews library, the closest open branch is the West Ashley Library at 45 Winderemere Blvd. 

Due to the pandemic, operating hours have changed. Go to ccpl.org for more information. 

The $108.5 million referendum includes construction of five new branches. Baxter Patrick on James Island, Wando in Mount Pleasant and St. Paul's in Hollywood have opened. Bees Ferry in West Ashley is expected to open this fall. R. Keith Summey in North Charleston is expected to begin construction this fall.

Book Sale (copy)

The Otranto Regional Library in North Charleston, now closed for renovations through next year, was the site of an annual book sale by Friends of the Charleston Library. File

The referendum also allocated approximately $29.7 million for renovations to the 14 existing branches. 

Renovation plans for the West Ashley Library were put on pause in March after outcry from residents concerned the branch would be relocated. A survey was circulated among branch users.

Angela Craig, library executive director, at the time said: "Ninety-six percent said location is more important than size — they want an accessible branch close to their neighborhood." 

Charleston County contracted downtown construction company M.B. Kahn Construction to complete renovation work. Designs were done by downtown architecture firm McMillan Pazdan Smith. 

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Reach Mikaela Porter at 843-937-5906. Follow her on Twitter @mikaelareporter. 

Mikaela Porter joined The Post and Courier in April 2019 and writes about the city of Charleston. Previously, Mikaela reported on breaking news, local government, school issues and community happenings for The Hartford Courant in Hartford, Conn.

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