The James Island Branch Library has been an anchor for the community for over 30 years with its proximity to the island’s residents.
The Bi-Lo shopping center on Folly Road, an ideal choice for a new facility, has been proposed as a possible location for the new library. It is still close to the original community that was served by the Camp Road Branch, it is visible and accessible to James Island residents, and it is close to neighborhood schools. Though recommended as a site by the library board, it has not received serious consideration by County Council. Rather, a site on Grimball Road is the favored location.
The Grimball Road location is not ideal for many reasons. Residents are unhappy with the development and subsequent congestion possible in their community; it would also disturb an important historic site. People who do not live close to Grimball Road are concerned about its accessibility. It is not at all central to most James Island residents. Additionally, traffic on Folly Road is high volume, and at times that is typically the busiest for library use. Finally, there is no bus service to the proposed site.
The Grimball site plan does not meet the needs of James Island residents and would result in an underutilized, costly new library.
In the years leading up to the building referendum, voters were assured that their needs would be addressed. James Island residents expressed concerns about changing the library location and were told that the library would remain accessible to the community.
Moving the library to an out-of-the-way location with no public transportation for nonexistent financial savings makes no sense. County Council should reconsider the Bi-Lo Shopping Center. Do not make the costly mistake of building on Grimball Road.
George E. Tempel, Ph.D.