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Architectural firm chosen for library
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The Newton County Library Board recently announced their selection of an architectural firm to design the county's second library, which will begin construction early next year.

Craig Gaulden Davis Inc., with David Moore as lead architect, has been chosen to design the Porter Memorial Branch Library, located in District 2. The firm was one of nine to apply originally for the job. The selection process took three months and featured two rounds of interviews. Firms were scored on a point system.

"We are thrilled to have selected a firm and are ready to proceed to the next step," said Library Board Chairman Mellie Davis in a press release.

Craig Gaulden Davis has extensive past experience in designing libraries in the Southeast including libraries in Athens, Augusta and Tifton. To date, the firm has planned and designed more than 2 million square feet of library space.

Moore is currently designing the addition and renovation to the Nancy Guinn Memorial Library in Conyers. The renovation will begin this fall.

In selecting Moore and his firm, Heid said the library board appreciated his work manner, experience with library projects in the Southeast and the positive job recommendations other library directors gave him.

"They really felt like they could work with him as an individual," Heid said of the board's choice.

Heid said the board also liked Moore's approach to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) ratings. LEED is a rating system that provides standards for the construction of environmentally sustainable buildings. The Newton County Library System plans to build the county's second LEED-certified building. The first, a dormitory, is currently under construction Oxford College of Emory University.

"Sometimes you can get a firm that is so steeped in LEED, that the practicality and design is sacrificed," Heid said. "We liked this architect because he understands that. We want to follow the [LEED] checklist, but because we like the idea of sustainability [as opposed to ratings]. He and the library board were very much of one opinion."

The Porter Memorial Branch Library will be constructed on Ga. Highway 212 between Oak Hill Elementary School and Oak Hill Fire Station. The library will be 18,000 square feet, making it more than half the size of the main Covington branch.

Construction on the library is scheduled to begin in early 2009 with an opening set for summer 2010. The library will feature a children's room, a reference area, a teen room, a quiet reading room, study rooms, a meeting room and computers with internet access.

Heid said the board was looking into the feasibility of installing a Webcam at the construction sight so residents could follow the building process 24-hours a day through the library system's Web site.