CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (UTC/ The Loop) – Several UTC students and faculty have heard rumors and myths about the old and new library on campus, and are now questioning what is to come of the buildings.
Casey Cherry, UTC Senior, stated that she heard Lupton Library was going to be torn down, and then heard it was going to be remodeled. Luke Caldwell, UTC Junior, along with Cherry has heard the myth that the weight of the books was not taken into account when Lupton was built and it is now sinking.
While these rumors are floating around, Steve Cox, UTC Head of Special Collections and University Archives, has answered some of the rumors and myths about the libraries.
Cox said the story that Lupton Library is sinking is an “untrue urban myth.” He confirmed that in about 1970, open spots underneath the library were found and it may have started to sink, but the holes were filled in. When Lupton was built, there were about 4,500 students enrolled and it was not built for today’s technology. Talk and plans for a new library have been underway for about 15 years. Cox explained that the new library, which has not been named yet, is “long over due. As the university grew, the library did not.”
Some students have voiced their opinions on what should be done to Lupton once the new library opens. “I would like for it to be a parking garage, but I have not heard what they are going to do with it,” Cherry explained, “The university should improve every area of student need and parking is a top priority because if it is just a building then it is a waste of space and money.” Caldwell said, “I would want to see the old library get a face lift because it sticks out like a sore thumb. It would be nice to see it blend with the rest of the campus because it is awkward and out of date.”
“You can tell roughly the time when Lupton Library was built, and the new library will be more aesthetically pleasing,” said Cox, “It will be one of the nicest in the country as far as university libraries go.” Cox also explained that the construction on the new library was almost cancelled and we are lucky to have gotten it.
Rumors of what the new library will feature are also going around campus. Caldwell explained that he heard the new library might have days where it is open for 24 hours and that it will have a Starbucks in it. Cox put these rumors to rest when he explained that there will be, “More computers and digital resources, rooms to practice presentations, sofas and recliners, and a Starbucks included in the new library. It will be more 21st century friendly and will be able to handle the technology of this time.”
Cox said that it has not been officially decided what will happen to Lupton Library, but he thinks it will most likely be renovated for class rooms and offices. The $48 million dollar new library is planned to open either late 2013 or early 2014.