New Pass Christian library taking shape

By Steve Phillips – bio | email

PASS CHRISTIAN, MS (WLOX) - Sally James of Pass Christian is counting down the days. She's the city's head librarian, who's looking forward to moving into a brand new, much larger library.

Pass Christian can't wait until this project is finished. The library has long been the "heartbeat" of this town.

"This area is going to be dedicated strictly to the younger children. It's going to have a sailboat in it," said a smiling Sally James, as she gave a tour of the new library.

No one is more thrilled with the new 12,000 square foot facility than this head librarian.

"Oh, I'm real excited," she said, laughing.

"And this is our conference room. It's nice. It is really nice," said James.

Columns and courtyards surround the new building. It's nearly 4,000 square feet larger than the old library.

"I want you to see, this is what they're just finishing," she said, pointing overhead to large, timber trusses. "They're finishing the beams in here, which are really custom beams, and have turned out beautifully. I'm really tickled, they are really beautiful."

The general contractor is not only building the library, but also the adjoining court building and city hall.

"I think everybody will be fascinated with this," ," said Mark Savage, a supervisor with Kenneth Thompson builder. "This is going to be a showplace when we get through with it. Our finish date is March 19th. We'll make that with no problem."

The young adults section includes study areas and a game room.

"And then out here will be all their books, their seating. You know, young adult seating. It'll be the big, comfy chairs," said the head librarian.

A trailer in War Memorial Park has served as the temporary headquarters for the library since shortly after the storm. Sally James said it's been a blessing that has served the city well.  But she admitted, everyone is looking forward to and is excited about the big move.

"It's time for us to get into something bigger!"she said.

She's planning a "soft opening" of the new library in early April.

The new library also has room for future growth. There's space set aside for a 1200 square foot expansion. When it opens this Spring, the new library will have 40,000 books and other items in its opening day collection.

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