Library groundbreaking set for Nov. 5

COVINGTON - The public is invited to attend the groundbreaking for the Porter Memorial Branch Library in western Newton County on Nov. 5.

The event will take place at 10 a.m. at 2190 Ga. Highway 212, at the picnic shelter behind Oak Hill Fire Station.

Local and state officials, Newton County Library staff, and the Library Board of Trustees will be on hand. Renderings of the branch library will also be available for public inspection.

Newton County Library Administrative Assistant Wendy Harrington said it's important for the general public to attend, "to know where it's located, to show their support of the library. It's going to be really beautiful. They'll be happy to have it over there," she said.

Newton County Library Director Greg Heid said the library will include popular fiction and nonfiction books, DVDs and audiobooks, a full children's section, and a separate room for teens with materials appealing to middle school and high school students. The teen room will be soundproof and monitored by security cameras.

There will also be a soundproof "quiet room" where patrons can read undisturbed. Newspapers and magazines will be housed in that area, Heid said.

The library will include computers with Internet access and areas for studying and telecommuting, as well as a conference room and a 60-seat meeting room. There will be a self-checkout desk in addition to a staffed service desk.

The library has been designed to blend in with the natural environment and will include lots of windows and employ natural stone, brick and earthy colors, Heid said.

The library will be constructed on Ga. Highway 212 between Oak Hill Elementary School and the Oak Hill Fire Station.

The budgeted cost is $5,014,286, with $3 million funded by impact fees; $2 million through a state grant and the remaining money through private donations.

At 18,000 square feet, the library will be slightly more than half the size of the Covington branch.

Crystal Tatum can be reached at crystal.tatum@newtoncitizen.com.