LAFAYETTE, Ga. -- Work crews are busy with a $4 million renovation at the LaFayette-Walker County Public Library to make it bigger and better.
The library is able to expand at its 305 S. Duke St. location in downtown LaFayette because, years ago, the Friends of the Library raised money to buy the property next door.
"Someone offered us the property that we're expanding on now," Cherokee Regional Library System Director Lecia Eubanks said.
History is repeating itself.
Eubanks recently convinced the LaFayette City Council to agree to buy an 800-square-foot home on a quarter-acre lot at 91 Cooper St. that adjoins the library's South Duke Street property.
A man and wife occupied the home since it was built in 1959. He died and his widow, who's in an assisted-living facility, wanted the library to have the first option to buy.
Eubanks asked the council to reassign special purpose local option sales tax money left over from the library's expansion to buy the house. Eubanks expects the home will cost between $35,000 and $50,000.
The council voted unanimously to reassign the SPLOST money.
"Now's a good time to be buying property," Councilman Ben Bradford said.
While the library doesn't have immediate plans for the Cooper Street home, "we might could have a thrift store to support the library. Who knows?" Eubanks told council.
Other potential uses for the home would be as a teen center or gift shop, or it could be razed and used as greenspace because the library already has plenty of parking space, she said.
Tim Omarzu covers education for the Times Free Press. Omarzu is a longtime journalist who has worked as a reporter and editor at daily and weekly newspapers in Michigan, Nevada and California.