Under Construction: $50 million UTC library to open spring 2015

Under Construction: $50 million UTC library to open spring 2015

May 11th, 2014 by Alex Green in Business Diary

Carolyn Simpson, of Richard Jones Installations in Louisville, Ken., assembles archive shelving at the new UTC library.

Photo by Tim Barber/Times Free Press.

Photo by Laura McNutt/Times Free Press.

Project: University of Tennessee at Chattanooga library.

Location: Corner of Douglas and Vine streets.

Architect: Artech Design Group Inc.

Size: Five stories and 184,725 square feet.

Contractor: Rentenbach, a Christman Company.

Cost: $50 million.

Scope: The new LEED-certified building will have a 24-hour study area, 200 desktop computers, a Starbucks, four lounges, seating for more than 2,100 people and two lecture halls (separate of the main building) which will seat 225 each.

History: The new building will replace the 116,349-square-foot Lupton Memorial Library, launched in 1974 when UTC enrollment was 4,574. The university now has 11,800 students and expects to reach 15,000 soon. Seven years ago, then-Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen set aside $48 million in the state budget to replace the Lupton Library. Construction crews broke ground on the project four years ago.

Timeline: The library is expected to open by early spring 2015.

Future: When the new library opens, the Lupton Memorial Library building will undergo a $35- to $40-million renovation as it's repurposed for instructional use. Planning for that renovation could start as soon as three to eight months, according to Richard Brown, executive vice chancellor of finance and operations.

Compiled by staff writer Alex Green, who can be reached at agreen@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6480.