• By Alyssa L. Brennan

CCU to add Library Learning Complex and renovate Kimbel Library

Coastal Carolina University has been approved by the state to add a Library Learning Complex which will cost $29.8 million dollars while Kimbel Library undergoes a renovation which will cost $10 million dollars.

Melvin Davis, University librarian, gave some insight into why these changes are important.

“We think these changes are important for past, current, and future students,” he said. “Coastal has reached a stage in its development which merits the development of an archive as a record of where the University’s past which will be reflected in Kimbel’s redesign. In addition, we are building a facility that brings the best of the future by adding new technologies and co-locating various academic services under one roof in the Library Learning Complex.”

Kimbel Library’s renovation will include big changes, but plans are still being worked out.

“The Kimbel Library programming changes are in the early stages, so we do not have a lot of detail,” said Davis. “The major addition will be the Archives & Special Collections and a reading room, which can also serve as open study space. Mancy mechanical updates such as HVAC and lighting will be part of the project.”

Daniel Ennis, CCU’s provost and vice president for academic affairs, also commented on the need for this expansion in an email sent from the University.

“When Kimbel Library opened in 1977, it was designed to serve 1,400 students,” he said. "Even with subsequent expansions and renovations, it was never intended to serve more than 10,000 students. The new Library Learning C0mplex will immediately become one of the finest academic libraries in the state, and will provide students access to study spaces, enhanced academic support, and state-of-the art learning technologies.”

Davis explained what some of the differences between the Library Learning Complex (LLC) and Kimbel Library will be.

“The new LLC will expand the services and study spaces available to students,” said Davis. “Students will be able to take advantage of core services such as academic coaching, tutoring, writing center, etc. alongside library services such as research consultations, MakerSpace and VR Lab alongside a large open study space. The current Kimbel Library & Bryan Information Commons are great for students, but the Information Commons is a bit small and the Kimbel space is in need of an update. The other great aforementioned services from the Academic Resource Center, currently located in Kearns, will be located in the building as will Student Computing Services.”

CCU President Michael T. Benson commented on the importance of this expansion in a University email.

“I would maintain that at the core of any great institution is a great library,” he said. “These projects will help to further improve and invigorate the center of our campus as new and renovated spaces for students to meet, study, collaborate, and learn come to fruition within the next few years.”

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