York County is looking to buy land on Dave Lyle Boulevard that could be home to a new downtown library.
The property, which is now a Good Kia car dealership, also could house a magnet school or some sort of economic development.
"We want to buy (land on Dave Lyle Boulevard) and build a library," said York County Council member Rick Lee of Rock Hill.
The County Council voted after a closed discussion this week to approve a contract for the more than four-acre property, at 260 Dave Lyle Blvd., County Manger Jim Baker said. The contract is contingent on changes the county wants.
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The council built nearly $1.8 million in the capital plan of the current budget to buy this land but it may be more than a year until they could own it.
"The site was initially conceived as a library site," Baker said. "We're still looking at it as a potential library site, but there's still some discussions about a magnet school or something else."
The site also could house a mixed-use development, Baker said.
Site for magnet school?
The Rock Hill school district is not considering putting its fourth high school downtown, district officials say, but could look at that area for a proposed magnet school.
"The county wanted a site for the library downtown," Baker said. "Whether it ends up a library or private-public partnership, it's a way to promote economic development in that corridor."
Building a new library has been on hold since a $75 million county bond package for several new county buildings failed in 2006.
Assistant County Manager David Larson said the county has been looking at the Dave Lyle Boulevard property and others downtown for a couple of years. County staff recommended putting a library at the area where Good Kia sits.
David Good of the dealership declined to comment Wednesday.
"They are looking at alternative sites to move the business," Larson said. "It'll be at least a year before it would be ready for us."
Ideal new library
Council members aren't sure how soon they'd be able to finance a new library in Rock Hill.
"At some point in the distant future, we might have money to build it," Lee said.
In the meantime, Rock Hill's current library was revamped earlier this year to better use its tight space. Books were moved and computers were added in hopes of making it more convenient and accessible to the public.
Director Colleen Carney said the "dream" library for the city accommodates more space for each department.
The current, 33,000-square-foot library on East Black Street lacks sufficient space for meetings, tutoring, computers, administration and supervisors, she said.
They'd like the new facility to be around 80,000 square feet with a security system tied to self-check- out stations and space for Friends of the Library to hold book sales, Carney said.