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GGC breaks ground on new library

LAWRENCEVILLE - Georgia Gwinnett College's library won't be a warehouse for books. It will be the intellectual center of campus, President Daniel J. Kaufman said Monday during a ceremonial groundbreaking.

The 90,000-square-foot building is slated to open in fall 2010. The Library and Learning Resource Center will face the college's signature B Building and will be a cornerstone of the campus' quadrangle, which will also include a student center scheduled to open in 2010.

The library will be the first stand-alone building constructed on the site of the former Gwinnett University Center since Georgia Gwinnett College opened in August 2006. An addition to an existing building and a parking deck have been constructed, and renovations have taken place inside two buildings purchased by the GGC Foundation.

"Our campus continues to grow," Kaufman said, "and we are delighted that the construction of our library has finally begun. This library, which embodies the principles of learning and information, will be here for generations and influence the lives of tens of thousands of students. Our efforts this morning signify a bold and innovative college that embraces enhanced study habits and futuristic learning methodology."

Gene Ruffin, the library director, said the building will be more than a collection of books and materials.

"It's a place where relationships are forged, where character is molded and, most importantly, wisdom is cultivated," he said.

The centerpiece of the new facility will be the Heritage Instructional Room, a high-tech presentation area that will accommodate about 300 people, according to a news release. The Grand Reading Room will overlook the library's three-story atrium, and the Research Commons area will provide computer stations, laptop computer outlets, shared study areas with tables and study alcoves and carrels for quiet individual study.

The $28.3 million library will also have a variety of collaborative learning areas, including study rooms for team projects, "smart study rooms" for projects that require digital audio and visual components, media viewing rooms to allow students to view instructional materials such as DVDs and a presentation rehearsal room equipped with a digital capture and projection systems.

The new library will also have silver-level certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program, the news release states.