Space - that's the first thing students notice when they walk into UTC's new $48 million library. The magnitude of the space. The variety of the spaces. Or at least that's what they tell Theresa Liedtka, the dean of the library.
"They'll sometimes just walk onto the second floor and jaws drop and eyes open," Liedtka said of when students see the sea of computers for the first time.
The new 180,000-square foot, five-story building is 40 percent larger than the Lupton Library it replaced.
"It's one of the most innovative buildings in Chattanooga," said Dominique Pennington, a computer science senior who was studying in the Roth Grand reading room. "You feel like you're walking through an Ikea store in some parts and in other parts you feel like you're at MIT."
Besides books, most now stored on the ground floor, the UTC Library boasts an advanced media studio, over 200 computers and 37 study rooms. Lietka likes to walk the library at least once a day to see which study spots are becoming student favorites.
"It makes it feel like an actual university," said Bryce Crutcher, a senior studying computer science. "We needed it."
Students echo these sentiments on social media, praising the library on Twitter and Instagram. The Times Free Press paid a visit to see firsthand the culmination of nearly five years of construction and three years of planning.
*walks into the new library and Starbucks on campus* *starts slow clap*— Taylor Clements (@tclemmm) January 5, 2015
THE NEW UTC LIBRARY IS EVERYTHING ????????????????????????????????????????????????????????— Kacie Sherrell (@you_kc_me) January 5, 2015
the UTC library has a Starbucks. I don't even go there yet & I'm like yass— i'm chuck bass (@_sdeering) January 9, 2015
If I could live in the new UTC library, I'd be so happy— Lindsey Oliver (@LindseyOliv3r) January 8, 2015
the new library is probably the coolest place ever. good job, utc— alyssa lopez. (@alyssalopez61) January 7, 2015
The new library at UTC... Wow— Sykes, James (@AldidaBonkara) January 7, 2015
Shoutout to UTC's new library for being freakin' sweet.— Jeremy (@J_Mac_26) January 15, 2015
Probably the only UTC student that hasn't been to Starbucks nor have I actually seen the entire library or been in for a long period of time— (Day•Shu) (@__daishamonique) January 14, 2015
I have yet to go into the new library at utc. #ToDoList— Kaitlin Oscai (@kaitlin_oscai) January 14, 2015
Come on UTC. We just got this library. Clean up after yourself & let's keep the library gorgeous ????— Diviya Mathai (@DiviyaJoseph) January 13, 2015
*wipes away tear because of UTC's new library* pic.twitter.com/M03EHRC6u7— Nathan Brown (@_NathanBrown) January 4, 2015
The new UTC library is my favorite thing.— Ashlin Rae ?? (@ashlinrae93) January 9, 2015