Following advanced schematic designs completed in the fall, preliminary construction of a 21st Century Library Project on the John C. Hitt Library is set to launch in 2016.

The construction aims to support research and education for students, faculty and the community in the decades to come, evolving alongside advances in technology and an increased potential for student development.

Arguably one of the largest improvements to the soon-to-be 47 year old building will be the plans for an Automated Retrieval Center (ARC), built to house 1.2 million additional volumes of books that can be available in minutes at the touch of a computer screen. According to a Nov. 2014 technology newsletter released by UCF, the ARC will be a four-story building added to the north side of the current library.

The funding for the ARC is already in place, with the money coming from two years’ worth of the Capital Improvement Trust Fund, totaling $19,313,132, for planning, design, construction and equipping, according to a UCF spokesman. The ARC is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.

The images of the library, released by UCF, are purely conceptual, but the brick building seen to the left of the library is where the ARC is going to built. The glass entrance depicted in the rendering is currently not funded and is not likely to be built for five years, according to a UCF spokesman.

Rendering of a futuristic reading room. UCF says this is still 5-7 years away.
Rendering of a futuristic reading room. UCF says this is still 5-7 years away.

The Automated Retrieval System housed inside of the center will hope to create more efficient access to books and other printed materials by organizing existing volumes through storage of older, less popular materials to another building, opening space for student seating, computer workstations and other library services.

Additional plans may include the redesign and reimagining of the building interior, including creation of an area for graduate students, more group study rooms and alcoves outfitted with technology. By moving the stacks in the library to the ARC, it would create more room in the existing library for the aforementioned updates.

Jake Rakoci contributed to this report.