:Chattanooga; :Jan 30, 2010; :North Georgia; :11


UTC breaks ground on library

By Joan Garrett jgarrett@timesfreepress.com

Online: See the groundbreaking ceremony. Read previous stories. Comment.

    After 20 years of waiting, UTC finally will have its new library, and administrators say the state-of-the-art facility will bring the latest technology to campus and help elevate the school’s academic profile.

    “This library will represent what the campus has become,” said Tyler Forrest, president of the Student Government Association at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. “The university has grown to be one of the best in the South, and we have only been missing one thing.”

    State legislators, community members, UTC administrators and faculty were on hand Friday to celebrate the beginning of construction on the $48 million five-story library, which will be built in the heart of UTC’s campus on the corner of Vine and Douglas streets. The facility is scheduled to open in fall 2012.

    “We will be excited and anxious as we see this facility rise out of dirt,” said UTC Chancellor Roger Brown, who spoke at the formal groundbreaking ceremony.

    UTC first requested a new library in 1989 because the Lupton Library, opened in 1974, was outdated and didn’t have the space needed for the growing university. Funding for a new library was approved by the Tennessee General Assembly in 2007.

    The project nearly lost state support last year when the state was faced with falling tax revenue and some legislators worried there wasn’t enough money to fund some higher education capital projects, but lobbying from Chattanooga lawmakers and UT officials helped save the project, officials said.

    “We were all very scared that it would disappear,” said Mr. Forrest, a senior business major. “Students are thrilled. I think it could rival the aquatics and recreation center in popularity.”

    The library is being designed by architecture firms Derthick, Henley & Wilkerson and Artech. UTC intends for the building to be sustainable and will apply for certification by the U.S. Green Building Council, Dr. Brown said.

NEW UTC LIBRARY

Opening fall 2012 Projected cost: $48 million 180,000 square feet 120 computers in common areas

Source: UTC

LUPTON LIBRARY

Served student body of 4,574 (1974) Served 10,526 students (2009) 170,000 volumes (1974) 1.7 million items (books, etc.) in 2009 116,349 square feet 40 computers in common area


Staff photo by Allison Kwesell Breanna Morrison, 18, works on her physics homework Friday in UTC’s Lupton Library. UTC is building a new library that will be next to the University Center and the old Chamberlain Field in the middle of campus.