ST. GEORGE – A new branch of the Washington County Library is set to open in Hildale with a ribbon-cutting ceremony Friday afternoon.
Formerly the Steed Sunday School building, the new library is the result of an effort started in July 2015 when the Washington County Commission passed a resolution asking the United Effort Plan Trust to donate land for a future library. Eventually, the county bought the Steed Sunday School property from the UEP earlier this year.
“Service to the community has always been the focus of the library,” said Joel Tucker, Washington County Library System director. “Libraries level the playing field for people of any age who are seeking the information and access to technologies that will improve their quality of life. The Hildale branch will offer the residents of the area access to the resources that are available at each of the library branches in Washington County.”
Thanks to an interlocal agreement between Washington County and Mohave County, Arizona, the library will not only serve residents of Hildale, but also residents from the sister-community of Colorado City, collectively known as Short Creek.
Prior to this point, Colorado City residents have been served via the Mohave County Bookmobile, while Hildale residents had to drive 25 miles to the branch library in Hurricane.
At one point county officials thought they would need to invest nearly $2 million for the construction of a new library, County Commission Zachary Renstrom said during a commission meeting Tuesday. However, the county was able to acquire the preexisting Steed Sunday School building for $320,000.
Combined with the additional cost of renovation to the building and property the county will be able to open the facility for under $500,000, Renstrom said.
The new library is 5,300 square feet in size and sits on a 1.14 acre parcel.
“This library is going to be more than a library,” Renstrom said. “It’s going to be a place that other agencies can utilize, and I really think it will develop into a beautiful community center.”
One of those agencies that may use the library from time to time is the Utah Department of Workforce Services.
In its meeting Tuesday, the County Commission approved an agreement between the Utah Department of Workforce Services, Washington County School District and Washington County Library System. The agreement will allow Utah DWS to use the school and the library for appointments and training.
The Hildale branch will offer books, e-books, DVDs, music CDs, internet access, materials for English-language learners, programs for job seekers, and offer story times to develop early literacy skills.
“I’m excited for this,” Renstrom said.
Hours of operation will be Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Friday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Hildale Branch Library is located at 440 E. Newel Avenue in Hildale. The grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Friday.
St. George News reported Julie Applegate contributed to this story.
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