UTC's new library set to open in late December - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UTC's new library set to open in late December

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The exterior of UTC's new library. WRCBtv.com photo by David Carroll The exterior of UTC's new library. WRCBtv.com photo by David Carroll
The work and study areas of UTC's new library. WRCBtv.com photo by David Carroll The work and study areas of UTC's new library. WRCBtv.com photo by David Carroll
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) - The new UTC library was a long time coming, but it's worth the wait.  That seemed to be the unanimous sentiment expressed by faculty and staff members who got a sneak preview just before the Thanksgiving holiday break.

On the drawing board for two decades, and under construction for about seven years, the four-story structure will open shortly after Christmas, and will be fully operational for the second semester in January.  At least initially, it will be called only “The UTC Library,” but traditionally the university has honored donors and distinguished alumni with the naming of various facilities.

With more than 172,000 square feet, and its central location, the new library is poised to become the center of campus student life.  
The 4th floor offers a spectacular view in every direction, along with comfortable research areas, a grand reading room, and large meeting spaces.

A high-end media center is showcased on the 3rd floor, along with quiet reading areas, and multiple study rooms.

On the 2nd floor, students will find a 200-seat Information Commons area, plus several practice presentation rooms.

The 1st floor hosts a Starbuck's, a film collection, periodicals, open reading areas, and small study rooms.

The ground floor houses space saving shelves, audio-visual material, and more study space.

The current Lupton Library was opened in 1974, but has long been criticized for inadequate technology, poor accessibility, and limited space.  As early as the 1980s, school officials recognized the need for renovations, but funding was hard to come by. (Lupton Library is set to be used for instructional space, although renovations will be needed at an estimated cost of $35 million).

By 2007, the state budgeted $48 million for the project, with a targeted completion date of 2011.  Officials cited weather problems, floor plan changes, and unexpected complications as the causes of numerous delays that set the project back for several years.
(Video courtesy UTC Communication Dept.)
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