By Kendra Loh
Union University’s campus community can look forward to enjoying the new library facility that is estimated to be complete in 2014 as new aspects of the library are being discussed, funds are being committed, and arrangements on construction are being made.
“The dream to have a great library facility on the Union campus has been one shared by trustees, administrators, faculty, staff, students, alumni, and friends for many years,” said Dr. David S. Dockery, university president.
Dockery added that the new facility will be the fulfilment of dreams and prayers of many.
Anna Beth Morgan, associate vice president for academic resources and director of the library, said the new library will include technology spaces throughout the building, a large study space on the third floor and various seating and study options located throughout to encourage a quiet environment on the upper floors.
“We are working to design beautiful and functional library spaces for both individuals and groups,” Morgan said.
Additionally, a family study area will serve students who bring children or have other family members with them while visiting the library. Efforts also are being made to cater to those with special needs so they can access the library with ease.
“Ramps on the north and south sides will provide accessible entry points to the library building,” Morgan said.
The capital campaign to raise an overall goal of $20 million for the new library was announced Oct. 3, 2011, by the president, and is ongoing.
Dr. Jerry N. Tidwell, senior vice president for university relations and athletics, said people can give to the new library at any time during construction, but gifts will be matched by the Bill and Carol Latimer Foundation if pledged by the end of December 2012, and given by the end of December 2014.
“We are very pleased with the participation level of trustees, friends, alumni, faculty, and staff in the campaign,” Tidwell said. “We have approximately $6.5 million committed to the library thus far.”
Another campaign designed to raise money for the completion of the new library is the iGave campaign, an opportunity for students to give back to Union University and leave a legacy that endures, as well as challenge fellow students to do the same. The campaign has received an overwhelming response by the campus community.
“This reinforces what we have known – that this generation is committed to leaving their mark on the campus of Union University,” Tidwell said.
Gary L. Carter, senior vice president for business services, said construction of the new library will probably begin sometime in November.
“There is a substantial amount of work that has to be completed before a project ever starts coming out of the ground,” Carter said. “The construction period for the library will be somewhere between 16 and 18 months.”