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Powder Springs Council Talks Theater Plans

The theater is planned for the Ford Cultural Arts and Community Center complex.

Officials in are in the beginning stages of building a theater at the campus.

The city council on Wednesday met with Architect Jim Croft, whose Kennesaw-based firm Croft and Associates is recommended for approval for the project, to discuss his plans for the project’s design. Croft said he plans to use a design charette approach, which involves creating a rough sketch of the building while talking with stakeholders about the project.

“We would have paper here,” Croft said. “We would actually draw and sketch and say, ‘Is this what you’re thinking?’ We would be designing as we talk. It’s a very interactive process.”

The process enables people to visualize the concept and helps resolve conflicting ideas between multiple user groups.

“We take comments from the folks who are seeing our design, and we refine our design that day,” Croft said. “It’s fun. It’s high energy, and it’s interactive.”

After the design charette process, a more refined design will be given to the council for review and approval.

“It’s a very exciting project,” Mayor Pat Vaughn said. “It’s a really neat thing to do.”

A cost for the total project hasn’t been determined, but it will be paid for through bonds and 2011 Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax funds. The cost for the design charette, and an evaluation of the existing facility and materials available for use is not to exceed $12,000. The city council is expected to vote on that initial work at its meeting on Monday night.

Also at the council’s work session, Charlie Sewell told the council he designed a state-of-the-art laptop and camera for all of the city’s police cars at a cost of $195,246, coming in under the projected amount of $250,000.

Sewell said he plans to buy laptop computers from Dell at a cost of $1,800 each, and 14 docking stations for use inside the police department.

And, each car will be equipped with cameras with rocket technology, which is the same system used in , and Gainesville. The new cameras will enable officers to switch from recording outside the front of the car to the back seat. The cameras automatically download images when cars pull into the police department’s parking lot, and the system will enable dispatch, the chief and officers to locate specific cars. That will enable dispatch to send the closest car to a call or for other officers to back up a coworker who might be in trouble.

The officers likely will be skeptical of the system at first, just as police officers throughout the country were when video cameras first began being used in police cars, Sewell said.

“When video cameras first started being used, officers said Big Brother was going to be watching,” Sewell said. “The same thing is going to happen. At first, they’re going to be suspicious. They’re going to think I’m going to be sitting there watching them. I don’t have time for that. This is a safety issue.”

The new system will be paid for with funds from the 2011 SPLOST. The remaining funds will be funneled into other SPLOST projects.

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