Recognizing the importance of the Library and its services to our citizens, Calhoun’s Mayor and City Council and Gordon County’s Commissioners approved designating $800,000 in SPLOST receipts to renovate and modernize the joint Calhoun-Gordon County Library. To match our local commitment, the Georgia General Assembly appropriated an additional $250,000 for the renovation.
Click here to read a recent artice in the Calhoun Times concerning the renovation of the library.
*September 4, 2013-the pecan tree comes down to make way for expansion. Wood from the tree will be transformed and repurposed, into bowls, pens, benches, rolling pins, etc.
*September 17, 2013 Parking lot fenced off, construction trailer on site
*October 14th-Concrete slab poured
*December 4th-Steel Beams in place
CALHOUN-GORDON COUNTY LIBRARY
EXPANSION PROJECT Q & A
Q Construction has begun for the eagerly anticipated expansion of the Calhoun-Gordon County Library. What is the targeted date for full expansion completion?
A Given favorable working conditions, especially when outside labor is considered, the best estimate at this time is the end of July, 2014.
Q Will the library remain open with regular hours and full services during the expansion period?
A We anticipate that the library will be open the same days and hours as presently scheduled, except for a few occasions when it will close to accommodate construction and moving demands. When that happens, we will give the public advance notice. There will be times when only part of the library is open, because of expansion demands, but it will offer a representative collection of services, books and materials.
Q What will be the most obvious improvements once expansion is completed?
A The building’s exterior and the new entrance will be the most noticeable changes. Library patrons will enter directly from the north parking lot. This will provide a safer entry, limiting the need to walk across the street, or to maneuver a wheelchair nearly 100 yards to the front door from the present handicapped parking area. There will be new public restrooms, a new Woman’s Club Community Room and a new lobby and service desk. Computers, many new, will be conveniently concentrated near the service desk. There will be a new story hour space, a new young adult area, a renovated Local History and Genealogy Room, and a Friends of the Library book sales area.
Q How will this affect patrons of the library, from parking to check-out accessibility to comfortable inside surroundings?
A The walk to the main entrance will be shorter. Added space in front of the new service desk, will ease problems of congestion, and the computer area will be enlarged. Improved sight lines will make it much easier to see through large areas of the building. Video signs and messages regarding library, government and community activities and information are planned.
Q It is the understanding that local companies will do most of the expansion planning and labor. Who are they, including the architect and the folks who wield the hammers and nails?
A Our builder is Calhoun-based Momon Construction Company, a contracter with a solid reputation, local ownership and employees. Our architect firm is Killian and Clark Partnership (KCP) from Ringgold, architects for Tallatoona CAP, renovation of the Boys and Girls Club and other local projects . KCP is assisting Gordon County with an application for funds to build the George Chambers Research Center. Karen Thompson Design Studios, LaFayette, is assisting with interior design, furnishings and equipment advice, and moving services.
Q Explain the involvement of city and county government, including financial input.
A Calhoun’s Mayor and City Council and the Gordon County Commissioners are supplying equal amounts from SPLOST funds. Significant State of Georgia Major Renovation and Repair Funding comes through the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System. The City of Calhoun, which owns the building, is managing bidding and purchasing.
Q There will be a new location for entry into the building. Where will that be?
A The entrance will be on the north end of the building, facing the parking lot on North Avenue.
Q What about the current Local History and Genealogy Room, the community meeting room and other public facilities?
A Local History and Genealogy will remain the same room but will be renovated and rearranged to provide more usable space. The Community Room, relocated near the new north entrance, will accommodate about 50 people and can be open for meetings or other activities after regular library hours. A small kitchen will adjoin the Community Room.
Q The renovation plans show a space for Friends of the Library. Does this mean the Book Depot will be closed, and if so what are the plans for book sales?
A In the new space available for Friends of the Library, that organization can organize books to sell and lock its doors when necessary. The Book Depot is operated by Friends of the Library, and a decision to continue operations at that Court Street location has not been made yet.
Q What about security measures?
A Security is an important part of this renovation. Besides motion and entry sensors, the facility will be monitored by video. The new sight lines will enable library staff to to observe large areas of the building.
Q Walk us through the library, from entrance through fiction, non-fiction, reference, computer, genealogy and other patron-friendly inclusions.
A Envision entering a mall with store fronts facing a main aisle. After passing through the foyer, patrons will find restrooms and the new Community Room. Television signage is just ahead. The service desk (circulation/checkout) is on the right, and new books/browsing and the expanded computer area are just in front of the desk. The branch manager’s office adjoins the service desk.
Continuing, the large print and fiction collections are directly ahead on the right, with audio/visual materials and non-fiction books on the left.
The Local History and Genealogy Room will remain in its present location at the top of the current ramp. Across from it will be new and expanded young adult space.
The Friends of the Library sales area will be in the old entrance, and the library’s workroom for shipping, receiving, cataloging, and processing will be in the space presently occupied by the Community Room
The central aisle will end at an expanded children’s area featuring a new story hour space.
Q Will the PINES system continue as the primary lending system?
A Yes, the PINES interlibrary loan network (materials borrowed from other libraries in the Georgia system) will still be used to check out local materials, along with materials borrowed from other Georgia libraries.
Q Are there other value-in-kind contributions you would like to acknowledge?
A Yes, we gratefully acknowledge the generosity of Mohawk Flooring and LG Hausys. The Calhoun’s Woman’s Club, Friends of the Library and Harris Arts Center have assisted with the project. Items crafted from the pecan tree at the north end of the building will be sold in the Art Market at Harris Arts Center. We appreciate the continuing support of the Northwest Georgia Regional Library System.
We encourage other businesses, organizations, and individuals to join our effort to make our library the best in Northwest Georgia.
The Library Board of Trustees, working with Killian Clark Partnership, a Ringgold architectural firm, approved a design and interior plan which has been accepted by the City. Calhoun’s Momon Construction Company, the low bidder for the project, will begin work in late summer. Completion is scheduled for spring 2014. The Library renovation and expansion will
- Add 3,100 sq. ft., bringing total building space to 18,000 sq. ft., a 20% increase
- Move the entrance and circulation desk to the north, parking lot side of the site
- Assure safer, off-street patron access and more convenient handicapped parking
- Upgrade 25-year-old mechanical systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, security)
- Increase public computer capacity to 40 and concentrate near entrance
- Provide space for technical processing, interlibrary loan circulation, and storage
- Expand Children’s area and provide more story-time space
- Enlarge and refurnish the Young Adult section
- Renovate the Local History and Genealogy room
- Relocate the Calhoun Woman’s Club community room
- Provide space for a Friends of the Library book store