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Learning in progress: Georgia Gwinnett College celebrates opening of new library

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

Photo by Corinne Nicholson

LAWRENCEVILLE -- Homero Gonzalez is glad Georgia Gwinnett College's new Library and Learning Center will be open in time for his senior year.

"I'm excited I get to experience the library before I graduate," Gonzalez said Thursday after a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the building. "I can't wait to use the study rooms. ... I'll be spending a lot of time here."

Georgia Gwinnett College President Daniel J. Kaufman said the new library won't be a warehouse for books.

"This will be the intellectual center of campus where students will have access to unlimited amounts of information and quiet and contemplative spaces," Kaufman said.

The $28.3 million, 95,370-square-foot building features a three-story curtain wall of windows and square arches that make a strong architectural statement. The wall of windows encloses an atrium with views of the campus' central quad and signature building.

The Library and Learning Center is designed to house 300,000 volumes and a fusion of digital and print library holdings. It will offer self-check services, and its inventory will be managed by an electronic tag system not often provided in collegiate libraries, according to a news release.

The building contains technologically advanced classrooms, a presentation practice room, 38 private study rooms, a seminar room, a quiet reading room and a coffee shop. The college's Center for Teaching Excellence and Student Success programs also will occupy the facility.

"We designed this building with a flexibility of form and function that will enable it to serve Georgia Gwinnett College's students well into the 21st century," Kaufman said. "... In many ways, the Library and Learning Center represents the hallmarks of a GGC education. Its very design blends technology with active, collaborative learning and its role will strengthen the connection between our students and the community."

The new Library and Learning Center is funded through the state's general obligation bond package. The Georgia General Assembly appropriated $28.3 million for the building in 2007.

The current library, now located in the college's signature administrative building, will begin moving into the new facility next week. Several days later, a delivery of new books will double the total library holdings. The new facility will open its doors in mid-August.

The Library and Learning Center is one of three major construction projects that will be completed this fall.

GGC recently finished the first phase of its housing and will welcome its first student residents shortly before classes begin Aug. 23. The residence halls can house about 1,000 students. The total fall semester enrollment is expected to be about 5,200.

The new Student Center will be fully completed later this fall, but its dining facilities will open in time for the resident students' arrival.

Georgia Gwinnett College opened in 2006 in Lawrenceville.

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