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Groundbreaking held for Bryan Information Commons

Groundbreaking ceremonies were held recently at Coastal Carolina University for Bryan Information Commons, an addition to Kimbel Library. The $6 million building will be constructed in front of the current library and should be completed by Fall 2011.

Construction will begin in December on the 15,000-square-foot addition, which will be a student-centered study/reference/tutorial center available to students 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It will be technology-rich with laptop and work station computers, as well as physical spaces designed to support both individual and small study group efforts of students. The Bryan Information Commons will be a brick and glass structure with expansive windows the entire height of the building to allow the flow of natural light.

"It used to be that a library’s value was measured by the quantity of volumes and the quietude found within," said CCU President David A. DeCenzo. "While the library of today still does hold books, it is increasingly shaped by technology and the rapid flow of seemingly unending information … Today we celebrate the beginnings of a building that will respect the library tradition, yet will capture the energy and enthusiasm of our students, faculty, staff and community in a new environment of discovery."

The library addition is named for the late Rebecca Randall Bryan, a longtime Conway resident and supporter of education and the arts who bequeathed $1.8 million to the University at her death in 1999, along with more than 200 books from her personal library.

The current Kimbel Library, which opened in 1977 with a student population of 1,500. holds 250,000 books, 100 computers, 30,000 online journals and periodicals as well as 80 laptops that were checked out 30,000 times by students in the past year.

Sara Sanders, Kearns Palmetto Professor and cousin of Bryan's, spoke on behalf of the family, acknowledging the sadness of old magnolia trees being cut down but pointing out, "In growth and change, there is transformation."

Mark Avant is project manager. Steve Goggans & Associates in Pawleys Island is the architectural firm.

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