The Sevier County Public Library System (SCPLS) is in the process of organizing a private fundraising campaign to fund the construction of a new Main Library Branch in downtown Sevierville.
The goal of the campaign, according to SCPLS Director K.C. Williams, is to raise $4 million to fund the project which has been estimated to cost around $10 million in total.
To aid in the efforts, the library system has hired the Brown Group to lead the campaign.
“A 45,000-square-foot building is what we’re aiming for,” said Brown, to be located on the A.J. King property behind the Sevierville Police Station on Gary Wade Boulevard.
At 5,000 square feet, the system’s current main branch on Court Street would pale in comparison to the proposed facility. The current main branch is already stressed for space, according to Williams who discussed their space issues with county officials at a recent meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee meeting.
“I have some pressing space issues at the Main Branch,” said Williams at the meeting.
She then proposed to relocate the library’s Genealogy Department to another location in the downtown area in order to free up space at the Main Branch.
Williams passed around information packets to the commissioners complete with pictures showing just how pressed for space the library is. The pictures show tight corners stacked high with boxes and overflowing shelves.
The SCPLS Genealogy Department currently has 1,500 items including published family genealogies, census records, marriage records, birth records, death records, land grants and other printed publications.
It also contains several collections with family scrap books, letters, newspaper articles, pictures and other historical documents.
The system’s administrative offices will then take the department’s spot, freeing up room to expand cataloging. The current administrative office space would then be used as a public meeting room.
The fundraising campaign is set to begin in the coming weeks.