The building will include three computer labs with up to 75 computers, several classrooms, high-tech lecture halls with desks wired for data and power transmission, a distance learning center, a video graphics lab, a TV and radio studio, group study rooms and offices, said John Taube, the reference and electronic resources librarian.
The library, at more than 18,000 square feet, will nearly double the size of the existing library, Taube said. Individual tables and desks will have data ports and power hookups for use by laptop computers. Ideally, students would be able to check out a laptop from the circulation desk, bring it to a desk and start using it, he said.
The state is funding about 65 percent of the project and the county the rest, said Phillip Snodderly, director of facilities management and planning.
The building will have a lot of glass and will light up the surrounding area at night, he said.
Other architectural highlights include a glass-enclosed staircase, stone accents on the brick exterior, a flat roof and an elevator.
Snodderly said the elevator will help people with disabilities. Right now, it's difficult to get around the hilly campus in a wheelchair, but the elevator will make it easier to get from one level of the campus to the next, he said.
One of the computer labs could also be controlled separately from the rest of the building in case the college wanted to open the lab at odd hours when the rest of the building is closed, he said.
The project will also include building a new road near the science building and 55 new parking spots, Snodderly said.
The building was designed by Lorenzi, Dodds, Gunnill Inc. of Waldorf, Md.