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Spring semester at UT will be filled with several big campus improvement milestones, beginning with the opening of the new Stokely Family Residence Hall. Strong Hall, a state-of-the-art classroom and laboratory building on Cumberland Avenue, will begin opening its doors in mid-March.

As these two large-scale projects wind down, visible progress can be seen on the final phase of the Student Union and the new Ken and Blaire Mossman Building, both set to open in 2018.

Students begin returning to campus for spring semester on January 8. Classes begin on January 11.

Stokely Family Residence Hall, January 2017

Stokely Family Residence Hall

Named for the Stokely family and honoring their more than 100-year commitment to UT, the Stokely Family Residence Hall will begin welcoming its first new residents on Friday, January 6. The new hall will house up to 684 female and male students and student athletes.

On January 9, the building’s dining features—the Fresh Food Company, a new POD Market, and a Starbucks WPS—will open to all students, faculty, staff, and visitors. It will feature a new and exciting fresh food concept, where all food is prepared cooked to order in front of the customer.

“People will be amazed at the high quality and freshness of the food,” said Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for facilities services. “We think it will be a big hit among students, employees, and visitors to campus.”

Interior of Stokely Family Residence Hall dining facility.

The dining hall, with a seating capacity of 750, also will feature a Starbucks with indoor and outdoor seating. The total cost for the residence hall and dining facility was $94 million.

A portion of the spaces in the adjacent Volunteer Boulevard Parking Garage, which opened last August, will accommodate Stokely residents.

Aerial image of Strong Hall, November 29, 2016. Image courtesy of Rentenbach/Messer JV.

Strong Hall

Strong Hall is a new 268,000-square-foot academic science building which includes a selected restoration of the original 1926 Sophronia Strong residence hall and a total restoration of the 19th century Queen Anne-style Cowan Cottage at the corner of the site. Total project cost is $114 million.

University administrative staff will begin moving in to parts of the building right after spring break, which is set for March 13-17, with faculty moving in at the end of the spring semester in early May. The pedestrian bridge that crosses over Cumberland Avenue and connects to the grounds in front of Henson Hall also will reopen in early May. Classrooms, lecture halls, and laboratories are set to be fully assembled and open for classes for next fall semester.

The building’s front entrance archways were reused to form an arcade on the west side, facing Clement Hall. Headstones over the exterior doors bearing the names of the first five females enrolled at UT also were saved for future use in the building. The cottage has been refurbished, and will be used as a classroom and meeting room.

Ongoing Projects

The second phase of the three-year Volunteer Boulevard beautification project will begin in March. During spring break, the north side of Volunteer Boulevard from Pat Head Summitt Street to Peyton Manning Pass will be closed and all traffic rerouted to the south side. Curbside lanes will be widened, raised midblock crosswalks will be added to assist with traffic calming, and tables and chairs will be added. Once the north side is finished, workers will renovate the south side of the road. This phase of the project is expected to finish in early August.

Landscaping work will also be completed at the new Orange and White Halls, the first new residence halls in the West Campus redesign project, on the site of the old Shelbourne Towers. The next two residence halls in the redevelopment project will be built on the site of the former Apartment Residence Hall. They are slated to open in late 2018.

Work continues on the second phase of the Student Union project, which will feature a large auditorium, a large ballroom for events and banquets, student recreational areas and lounges, additional dining areas, and plentiful conference and meeting space.

The Ken and Blaire Mossman Building at the corner of Cumberland Avenue and 13th Street will feature lab space and classrooms as it houses portions of biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, microbiology, nutrition, and psychology. The facility will support interactive teaching and hands-on learning, with space for both structured and unstructured interactions among students, faculty, and staff. The building is named for the Mossmans, who met as students in 1968 and stayed connected to the university throughout their lives.

Renovations will wrap up next week on the RecSports TRECS facility. The Smoothie King has moved out and is being replaced by Jamba Juice and Starbucks, which will be open for more hours each day when they open on January 9. The building has been repainted to match the university’s branding initiative.


Charles Primm (865-974-5180,