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Lynn Meador Hall, Seabrook Mayor Gary Renola, Friends of the Library President Marianne Kolar, Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and Harris County Library System Director Rhoda Goldberg, from left, stop for a photo as they prepare to break ground for the new Evelyn Meador Library, which will replace the one destroyed by Hurricane Ike. Hall is the daughter of the late Evelyn Meador, for whom the library is named.

Ground was broken Friday in Seabrook for the new $5.6 million Evelyn Meador Library as teams worked nearby tearing down the old library that was nearly destroyed by Hurricane Ike.

Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia and Seabrook Mayor Gary Renola joined Friends of Meador Library President Marianne Kolar, County Public Library System Director Rhoda Goldberg and the daughter of the late Evelyn Meador, Lynn Meador Hall, in turning the first shovel of dirt adjacent to the old facility at 2400 N. Meyer Road.

“By golly, I told you we’d get it done,” Garcia said as she addressed the crowd when the groundbreaking celebration started.

“I told you I’d find the money,” she added, referring to an earlier gathering that was supposed to be a groundbreaking when she had to tell the crowd the money was not yet available to start construction.

She promised then she would sift through the county budget and try to come up with the necessary funds to go with the $1.3 million Seabrook residents had approved in a bond election. A short time later she did.

“This new library will be a great asset to future residents of the entire Bay Area. Working with the city and the Friends of the Meador Library, I am excited to be able to build a new building and improve and expand our Harris County Public Library in Seabrook,” she told the crowd.

Renola recognized the Seabrook City Council members present — Laura Davis, Paul Dunphey, Don Holbrook, Thom Kolupski, and Mayor Pro-tem Kim Morrell — and Judge Joe Pirtle, a former mayor who was involved in the building of the original library.

He also praised Garcia for her diligence in finding the funds. “Things are really tough so it’s not easy to find several million dollars,” he said.

The new facility will take about a year to build, Renola said, with move-in expected early next year. It will contain 21,100 square feet of space. The old library only contained 7,200 sq