By Donna Thornton/News Editor
The City of Southside welcomes everyone to an Open House from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday, June 30, at the city’s new community center and library on Ala. 77.
For those familiar with Southside, the celebration will be easy to find. Southside’s new community center and library are housed in what used to be the old Southside High School lunchroom.
Southside Mayor Wally Burns said recently the completed remodeling project became possible after the city and the Etowah County Board of Education reached an agreement to swap land. The board got the city’s baseball fields and the city took possession of the remaining property after the old high school was demolished.
“We got three buildings and about two acres,” Burns said.
In a $200,000 project. Burns said, the old lunchroom building was completely remodeled inside and outside, and the parking lot was paved. Work is being done on the building behind the old lunchroom, and it is being used as storage space for the police department. The city also has the old gym. Burns said it will take a lot of work to renovate, and it may be some time before the city starts that project.
The new community center/library building has about twice the space of the old one. The community center has a large meeting space and a small meeting room as well.
Voting in all elections will be at the community center, Burns said.
Burns said the location – near Southside’s city hall, police and fire departments – is much better for the community center, and especially the library.
The mayor and library volunteer Betty Davis said they hope to see increased traffic in the more central location.
“We’re downtown!” Southside city employee Rose Weathington said. As she and Davis worked at the library June 24, they issued their first library card at the new location – to third-grader Kira Butler. Kira said it was her idea to get a library card, “mine and my
Getting her card one day after her June 23 birthday was a treat for Kira. She said she enjoys reading. Fiction is her favorite, Kira said. She likes books such as the “Junie B. Jones” series.
Davis said the library has about eight volunteers, and its director is Julie Martin. The library is open 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Monday through Friday, 3 to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Saturday.
In addition to books, the library offers computers for use by cardholders, DVDs and ebooks.
“I think we really have an excellent collection,” Davis said.
Davis said the library has Ancestry.com, available for use by people researching their family trees, and plans to offer genealogy classes on Fridays at 9 a.m. The first Friday of the month will be Basic Genealogy; second Friday is U.S. Census; third Friday is Ancestry.com; and the fourth is On-line Searching.
During the last couple of weeks, while library material was being moved to the new location, Davis said libraries regular “Storytime” and Summer Reading Program got a bit off-schedule. She said those programs would be resuming schedule after the open house, when the library is “officially” open.