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Transforming education: Thompson Library marks milestone in University’s commitment to student innovation

The arrival of the 64,000-square-foot Thompson Library, with a design intended to foster activities for all types of learners, is now scheduled to open in summer 2024.  


Main stairwell in Thomson library, under construction. Keller Goldstein

The intention all along, even before assigning a name to the library, was to support Coastal Carolina University students. Making it an active space both day and night, everyone can witness the dedication of the students as they study along University Boulevard. 


According to Associate University Librarian Jennifer Hughes, the building was planned to be called the Academic Enrichment Center back in 2018 and 2019. By the summer of 2019, it expanded to include the library, becoming the Library Learning Complex. Following a generous $4 million donation from the Thompson family, it was rechristened as the Thompson Library.  


The new building will include things like the addition of podcast rooms, installation of advanced equipment for the Makerspace and the incorporation of a t-shirt printer. Made to support the influx of record-breaking freshman classes, Hughes said having three buildings with space for all kinds of learners will be essential. 

Artistic render of completed interior. Provided by Coastal Now


“We need the collaborative group spaces as well as quiet spaces. The Thompson Makerspace is going to be that next level of learning,” Hughes said.  


Thompson Library will also house another Starbucks, a “social stair,” open spaces for collaborative work, student-athlete academic services, tutoring, a Makerspace twice as large, three podcast studios and a writing center.  


“There’s more to learning than just writing a paper,” she said, “it’s about creating.” 


Hughes said that having everything in one space will normalize the need for tutoring.  


The original opening date was set for spring 2024, but delays in obtaining essential structures pushed back the timeline off completion.  


Despite these setbacks, CCU Project Manager Shawn Godwin said the roof will be finished soon, so the construction process should continue quickly.  


“Working on interior finishes and exterior envelope in concurrence, it’s mainly exterior hardscape, landscape left to finish up on,” he said.  


As soon as Thompson’s doors open, Kimbel Library’s will briefly close to begin its own renovation to promote better lighting and house the University archives and K-12 juvenile books.  

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About the Contributors
Bryanna Warner
Bryanna Warner, Managing Editor
Hi! I’m Bryanna Warner, a Surfside Beach local and junior at Coastal Carolina University.   I’m so thrilled to be doing what I love as the Managing Editor of The Chanticleer.    I’m a communication major with a concentration in interactive journalism. I enjoy the beach, yoga and traveling!   I aspire to write commercials and also news anchor. Let’s do this! 
Keller Goldstein
Keller Goldstein, Photographer
Hey there,  I’m Keller and I am beyond stoked to be the official photographer for The Chanticleer I am from Saint Louis, Missouri, and studying to get my BFA in theatre arts with a concentration in physical theatre here at CCU.   Aside from studying Physical Theatre, I am passionate about writing and producing music, directing, writing plays, traveling, film and cinematography, and of course, photography!    Although I got my start in concert, editorial, and conceptual photography, I have absolutely loved exploring the world of photojournalism this past semester and I look forward to showing you our school through my lens!

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