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New Chatham library & CCCC classroom facility to open soon

Posted Thursday, August 19, 2010

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Pittsboro, NC - Within the next few days, Central Carolina Community College (CCCC) and the Chatham County Public Library expect to receive the “all clear” to begin moving into new facilities on the Pittsboro campus of CCCC. As a result, the Pittsboro Memorial Library will be closed from August 30 through September 12, with the new library opening on September 13.

The Chatham Community Library will serve as the new main library for the county, but also will be the library for CCCC as well. The Sustainable Technologies Building will house several educational programs at CCCC, including Sustainable Technology, Sustainable Agriculture, Natural Chef, Culinary Arts and Biofuels Production.

A ribbon cutting ceremony for both facilities is scheduled for Monday, September 20, from 5-7 pm. The event will include activities, displays, refreshments, and tours. Additional information will be announced closer to the date.

Related to the facility openings, the N.C. Department of Transportation is expected to reopen NC 87 on August 20 with a roundabout in front of the new buildings, according to David Hughes, public works director for the county. The new CCCC buildings have a driveway connecting to the roundabout on NC 87.

Dr. Karen Allen, provost for CCCC's Pittsboro campus, said that the “new Sustainable Technology Center and Chatham Community Library are a natural fit with CCCC's campus environment. These new facilities clearly further our college mission to serve as a catalyst for economic and personal development in the community.”

Allen added that the buildings appropriately reflect the college's core value of sustainability. “The buildings themselves will serve as teaching tools to students and the community by modeling state-of-the art green features.”

Before the facilities open, much work remains to be done. Linda Clarke, director of the Chatham County Public Library, said “The service desks are in their final stages and shelving is going up now. We also have some outside work to be completed, including an iron fence and gate outside the library near the children’s reading area.”

She said that the moving process is tentatively slated for August 27. “However, we will not close the current Pittsboro Memorial Library until Monday, August 30. The branches in Siler City and Goldston will remain open and the bookmobile will continue its regular schedule during this period.”

Patrons of the Pittsboro library who check out items with a due date during library's closure (August 30-September 12) will have an extended period to return books between September 13-20 without penalty. However, any books or other items that ar NOT due during that closure period will be considered late if not returned on time.

The current library has been overcrowded for years and unable to keep pace with the needs of residents, said Clarke. “It served us well for many years, but the new library will allow us to expand our collections, offer an array of programs for people of all ages, provide more public computer and internet access, and provide both study areas and public meeting space. The new library also will have a section with genealogy resources.

The Friends of the Pittsboro Memorial Library, a group of supporters who raised more than $700,000 to support the new library.

Provost Allen said, “We will move the CCCC library at the same time as the county, but we plan to move into the new Sustainable Technologies Building as soon as August 11. The goal is to be ready for classes on August 16. A top-of-the-line commercial kitchen is nearing completion and that other furnishings should start arriving the second week of August.”

The biofuels area will include both a production facility and research lab for students. Other labs will be available for various sustainable technologies research and classwork. Several general use classrooms also are available.

The building uses a high-tech wastewater reuse system and a “green roof” with live plantings that are aimed at both saving energy costs and serving as learning tools for students in the Sustainable Technologies Degree Program, said Laura Lauffer, director of the program for CCCC.

“The goal is for both buildings to be LEED certified, which will very beneficial for our students and faculty,” Lauffer said. “The library and the classroom building incorporate an array of energy-saving and sustainable building practices and materials that can be studied first hand.”

The Pittsboro Memorial Library will be renovated after the new library opens so that it can serve as Superior Court until a permanent courtroom is built.

Provost Allen said that the current CCCC student library also will have an important future purpose as well. “We are excited that it will serve as a JobLink Career Center for Chatham County. We hope to have it ready to open in mid-October if all goes as planned.”

A JobLink Career Center provides services and facilities to help residents with career counseling and placement. It will include computer access for job-search purposes, such online applications and creation of resumes. According to Allen, major partners in the JobLink Center so far include the Employment Security Commission, Vocational Rehabilitation and Chatham County Department of Social Services.

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New Chatham library & CCCC classroom facility to open soon
The Chatham Community Library will serve as the new main library for the county, but also will be the library for CCCC as well.