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The beloved Rock on the UT campus will be fenced off for approximately one month beginning today.

The campus landmark, located at the corner of Volunteer Boulevard and Pat Summitt Street, will be blocked off for its own protection—and that of would-be painters—while crews perform necessary utility, sidewalk, and guttering work around the Natalie L. Haslam Music Center, currently under construction. The Rock and its new surrounding sidewalks are expected to reopen in mid-August, before students return to campus. Classes for the fall semester begin Wednesday, August 22.

The Rock has been a venue for student self-expression since the 1960s. Painting the Rock is a favorite tradition among students. It’s painted thousands of times each year, featuring birthday messages, marriage proposals, original student artwork, and other artistic expressions. View a photo gallery of the Rock here. The university relocated the Rock in 2009 from the south side of Volunteer Boulevard, near the intersection of Pat Head Summitt Street, to its current location. The move helped make room for the new Student Health Building, which opened in January.

The Natalie L. Haslam Music Center began construction in 2010. The $40 million project is expected to open in fall 2013. BarberMcMurry Architects and Blankenship and Partners designed the new music center. Johnson and Galyon is the contractor working on the project. Natalie and Jim Haslam and the Haslam Family Foundation gave the university $32.5 million, $10 million of which was designated to the School of Music, making the new facility possible.

C O N T A C T :

Karen Simsen (865-974-5186,