Two-story library with coworking space coming to Snellville

Libraries are for more than just checking out books nowadays.

A new two-story branch of the Gwinnett County Public Library in Snellville will hold books on the first floor, while the second floor will be used for coworking space, Gwinnett Tech college classes and other public and educational uses.

County commissioners signed a contract with a construction company in late June to build the 22,000-square-foot building on Wisteria Drive. It will be part of the The Grove at Towne Center, a $100 million de facto downtown area.

The city and county will split the $10.24 million construction cost for the library, said Eric Van Otteren, economic development director of Snellville. It’s scheduled to open in September or October 2022, with construction set to start in August this year.

“Our residents are looking forward to using the new library, and this location will add to the activity and vibrancy of our downtown,” said Mayor Barbara Bender in a news release.

The new location will include adult, teen and children’s areas, 20 computer workstations and a multipurpose room. It will keep the name of the current Elizabeth Williams Library in Snellville, which opened in 1988 on Lenora Church Road.

The old building will be repurposed for recreational purposes, City Manager Butch Sanders said.

In addition to the library, The Grove will hold 50,000 square feet of shopping, dining, recreation and business space. It’ll offer upscale apartments, a greenway and city market which will feature a coffee shop, eateries and craft beverages.

City officials hope to complete all buildings in the Grove in Fall 2022, with an opening in October or November. Snellville officials started planning to build its own downtown area decades ago, like other Gwinnett cities. Suwanee built its town center in 2003. Peachtree Corners started planning for a town center a year after it incorporated in 2012, completing it in 2019. Loganville is currently in the midst of planning for a rehab to its downtown area.

On the other side of Gwinnett County, a new library branch in Duluth opened in May.