The sun shone brightly through the windows at the Clemmons Library on Friday.
The few patrons had plenty of room to spread out on tables and at desks peppered throughout the adult reading area.
The new $5.6 million library in Clemmons, which opened last week, offers quite a contrast to the old library. Where that one was cramped, outdated and located in a high-traffic area on Clemmons Road, the new one is spacious, sleek and contemporary with lots of surrounding green space.
Parker Harwell, 9, declared parts of the library “futuristic.”
His mother, Ashley Harwell, was loading her kids into the van after visiting the new library at 6363 James St., off Stadium Drive, on Friday afternoon.
“This is fantastic,” she said. “I’m excited about this.”
The opening of the 20,000-square foot library comes 11 years after Forsyth County voters approved a $40 million bond that paid for libraries in downtown Winston-Salem, Kernersville and Clemmons. The other two libraries opened a few years ago.
Construction on a new Clemmons Library hit a few delays over the years as the village council negotiated to buy 3 acres for $624,000 from Hubbard Realty. At the time, the property was part of a 9-acre tract that was among the last pieces of undeveloped property in the village.
At one point, businessman Ed Broyhill spearheaded a move to expand the old library at its current site. But the plan was unpopular with the public, and the council eventually voted it down.
Besides more square footage, the new library has a room set aside for teenagers, an expanded children’s library with a story time room, a large auditorium and small meeting rooms.
More than anything, it has the kind of elbow room and peaceful aesthetic that make for a pleasant library experience.
Harwell said the new library is so nice that she’ll probably start going there instead of the Lewisville Library, where she liked to go to do work.
Brent Dettloff of Clemmons called the library a beautiful facility.
“This shows a commitment to libraries,” Dettloff said.
The county-owned former library is now up for sale with a minimum-offer amount of $787,000, according to Kirby Robinson, the assistant director of general services for the county.