The city of Hardeeville has just opened a new library on Main Street and will serve as the centerpiece and start of the city's plan to improve infrastructure over the next 10 years.
About 5,500 people call Hardeeville home right now. However, Mayor Harry Williams expects that number will triple by 2027. "We're expecting large growth in industrial, commercial, and residential development within the city, within the next 10 years," he said.
The $1.9 million library is 6,200 square feet and houses 10,000 books, a children's and teen's section, desktop computers, and modern furniture. "They can come here and use the many facilities we have here as an extension of the classroom and home," Williams said.
The library is not just an expansion of growth; it is also an expansion of knowledge.
Williams said 25 percent of the residents live below the poverty line. He said this library will allow them to learn about potential jobs coming to the area and for them to create their resumes to apply.
This library is only the start of the millions of dollars the city is funneling into its infrastructure plan. The city is building a new fire station this year, renovating the police department, and renovating inside court rooms.
"We have to anticipate what's going to happen in our city, and prepare for it right now," Williams said.
City officials have already set aside $12 million in next year's budget for capital improvements.
The city is also working with a recruitment firm in Alabama to bring industries and commerce to the city.
According to Williams, there are 21 interested companies.