North Carolina State University officials broke ground in late October on the James B. Hunt Jr. Library, an academic and research library.

The university describes the Hunt Library as “a signature building that will serve as the intellectual and social heart” of its growing population on the Centennial Campus. The school reports its cost for the project at $127 million.

The Hunt Library will contain an automated book-retrieval system–allowing space and budget normally consumed by book “stacks” to be used for learning spaces and technologies to assist students.

Pearce Brinkley Cease + Lee Architecture of Raleigh is the architect. Snøhetta will serve as lead designers.

The project will be designed to LEED Silver standards.

Skanska USA Building of Durham is the contractor. McGraw-Hill Construction Dodge estimates the value of Skanska’s construction contract at $66 million. In addition to the library, Skanska’s work also includes a 500-space pre-cast parking deck and infrastructure utilities that will serve future campus buildings.

Construction is expected to be complete in 2012.