Bibb County’s newest library branch taking shape


Grant Blankenship | Georgia Public Broadcasting

A look at the inside the Bibb County Library’s new building at 5494 Forsyth Road. Friends of the Library spent months cleaning the building and organizing donated books to be sold.

A one-acre property in north Macon that has been the site of a dentist’s office and a daycare over the decades is set to eventually become Bibb County’s newest library branch.

Volunteers for the Macon-Bibb County Friends of the Library spent the past couple months at 5494 Forsyth Road cleaning up and unpacking loads of donated books that will be available for purchase.

When the Bibb County Library Board of Trustees held its regular meeting there Tuesday, hundreds of books were neatly organized by topic and type on shelves surrounding comfortable orange chairs. Cook books, nonfiction, Civil War, young adult nonfiction, fiction and rare books were among the sections.

“Ultimately, this will be a branch that will serve the northwest side of Bibb County,” Middle Georgia Regional Library Director Jennifer Lautzenheiser said.

The library board purchased the property, just south of the intersection of Bass Road and U.S. 41, in December from Exchange Bank for $315,000, according to property records. The library has a budget of $1 million to transform the property into a more suitable library space.

The board sought proposals from architectural firms for designs to increase the square footage of usable space by connecting two separate buildings on the property. It received design proposals from two architectural firms and reviewed them during the meeting.

However, one of the firms did not submit a fee proposal explicitly required by the board. Without a full picture of the cost, the board decided to postpone its planned vote on an architect until a called meeting set for Oct. 3 at 12:15 p.m. when it expects to have that information.

The Macon Newsroom submitted an open records request Tuesday for library board documents containing details that identify the architectural firms being considered.

Also Tuesday, the board discussed setting up a short-term capital fund account at the Community Foundation of Central Georgia. The account would allow the library to receive donations to help pay for the cost of renovations.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article misstated the number of firms that did not submit a fee proposal. The earlier version also mischaracterized the capital fund, which was not approved at the meeting. 

To contact Civic Journalism Fellow Laura Corley, call 478-301-5777 or email [email protected].