tables, an open play area in the juvenile section, separate computer areas for children and adults, televisions, free wireless internet, a family toilet for parents with infants and a family room where children can be taken to calm down.
There will also be a 60seat meeting room with an attached catering kitchen, and even a garage in the back for receiving materials and housing any future vehicles.
Besides all of the new features, the design places a heavy emphasis on environmentally-friendly technologies. The building will be built on a raised floor, under which all of the heating and cooling equipment will be placed. This design saves money, because its most efficient to directly heat and cool the areas where people are, which is the first 8 feet off the floor, and a raised floor does this well. Heid said high-efficiency Energy Star appliances and heat pumps will be used to save on utility costs.
In addition the library will have a lot of windows to let in natural light, including the north wall, which will be mainly comprised of windows. This northern exposure will let in a lot of light, while avoiding direct sunlight which can overheat the building and damage furniture and books. The windows on the southern wall will have specially-designed shelves which will bounce the light to give indirect light into reading rooms and staff areas. The library will also have light sensors to control the level of lights throughout the day.
Finally, the roof of the library will be designed to catch rain water which will be recycled and used. Water will be directed off of slightly slanted roofs into water cisterns sunk into the ground. Heid said the library will be eligible for a Gold LEED rating, which signifies an environmentally-friendly building.
The library is being located in the Oak Hill area, because the western part of the county is the most densely populated outside of Covington and Oxford. Hours have not yet been determined, but are expected to be similar to the Covington Branch. The branch will be 19,000 square feet, a little over half the size of the Covington Branch. The library is expecting to hire staff in Fall 2010 and will employ around five staff, Heid said. A formal groundbreaking is planned for the second weekend in October.
The branch is being named after James Hyde Porter in appreciation of the continual major donations made to the library system by the Porter Foundation over the last 40 years. Porter was the grandfather of Oliver S. Porter, the founder of Porterdale.