The university community and local dignitaries gathered in parking lot 3, future home of the new 180,000 sq. ft. UTC library.
UTC Chancellor Roger Brown, Dr. Phil Oldham, Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Tyler Forrest, UTC Student Government Association President, and Tennessee State Senator Bo Watson shared brief remarks about the long awaited event.
UTC first requested a new library in 1989. The Lupton Library was built in 1974, housed 170,000 volumes, and occupied 116,000 sq. feet. The student population then was 4,574 compared to 10,526 today.
“We feel so fortunate, given the economy, that the new UTC library is moving ahead and is on schedule to open in January 2012,” said Theresa Liedtka, Dean of the Lupton Library.
Chancellor Brown calls the library the heart of the university.
“Looking at our university, that’s almost certainly geographically true as our current Lupton Library lies near the campus heart. It is with great anticipation that we gather to celebrate the beginning of not just a new building on our campus, but quite possibly the single most significant building on any campus,” said Brown.
Dr. Phil Oldham, provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs, said the library will be substantially different than its precursors in design and technology.
“There is even much more to a library than a place to research and learn. I think that’s especially represented on our campus. Libraries have become gathering places for social interaction, for quiet contemplation with a book and a cup of coffee,” said Oldham.
The new library, a joint venture designed by Derthick, Henley & Wilkerson and Artech will also be certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.
“The new LEED certified Library will be the first green building on campus. LEED stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design. The new building will feature recycling centers on each floor, loads of windows to take advantage of natural light, and will use recycled water to mention just a few of our green features,” said Liedtka.
The $48 million dollar building will be located on the corner of Vine and Douglas Streets, adjacent to Chamberlain Field.
The library will have 60,000 more square feet than the Lupton Library. A renovation and expansion to the Library has been on the UTC Capital Project list since 1989. In 2000 the Tennessee Higher Education Commission found the current library building deficient by 58,575 square feet. Student learning styles and habits have changed significantly since the current library opened in 1974, so has information research.
“The goal in planning the new library was to create a forward-thinking, adaptable learning space that would serve the campus and the community for decades into the future. Technology is front and center in the new UTC Library. The entire building is designed with the robust infrastructure needed to support today’s and tomorrow’s technology devices, including over 350 computers and 50 smart group study rooms,” said Liedtka.
Liedtka said the new library will also offer a 24 hour study space, quiet nooks and crannies, a café, an advanced computing center, practice presentation rooms, lounges, moveable shelving, art storage, a climate-controlled area for rare and valuable materials, classrooms, and more.
Tyler Forrest, UTC Trustee and SGA President, said students have been waiting a long time for this upgrade.
“The new UTC Library will advance the campus well into the 21st century. With added technology and enhanced services, the library will undoubtedly become the center of our already vibrant campus. We are very excited that it is almost here.”
Construction on the new library has begun and should be completed in 2012.
To learn more about the new library visit: