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KNOXVILLE—The first of many steps required to build the University of Tennessee, Knoxville’s new university center—to be called the Student Union—will begin next week.

Peyton Manning Pass will be closed from December 12 to January 5 to add a turning lane and widen the intersection with Phillip Fulmer Way. A traffic signal also will be added at the intersection of Peyton Manning Pass and Volunteer Boulevard.

This is one of several infrastructure improvements needed to accommodate the new $160 million Student Union, which will be nearly double the size of the current university center.

The project is the largest single building project in UT Knoxville’s history. The facility will greatly enhance services for students and the campus community through a larger auditorium, more programming and meeting space, a larger book and technology store, and varied food options including more seating, along with other new amenities.

Several large-scale changes to campus must be in place before construction of the new Student Union can begin. Here’s a look at some of those changes:

Section of Andy Holt Avenue to Close Permanently

In early 2012, the section of Andy Holt Avenue between Volunteer Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way, near Staff Lot 9, will close permanently. The campus will be notified well in advance of the closing date.

Once Andy Holt Avenue is closed, employees and visitors who park in Staff Lot 9 near Neyland Stadium will have to enter and exit the lot from Peyton Manning Pass.

The closure of Andy Holt Avenue will allow utility work to begin in preparation for closing the university center parking garage on Saturday, March 17.

Alternative Parking and Relocated ATMs

Once the garage closes in March, it will be razed to accommodate the first phase of the construction of the new Student Union. Arrangements are being made now to establish alternative visitor parking locations. Those plans will be announced as they are finalized.

In conjunction with the closure of the parking garage, the Money Wall of various ATMs will no longer be available. Two ATMs will be available in the Phillip Fulmer Way entrance to the existing university center. The banking sponsors for the new ATMs and other campus ATM options will be finalized in January.

More information on the overall Student Union project, including a timeline of future construction phases, architectural renderings, and campus maps, will be shared via a new website set to launch early next year.


Amy Blakely (865-974-5034,

Jeff Maples (865-974-3061,