Visible progress continues this spring on several UT construction and beautification projects, including the second phase of the Student Union and a new classroom and laboratory building.
Students will return to campus this weekend for the spring semester. Classes begin on January 10.
“From buildings going up to beautification projects spreading outward across campus, visitors will really see a positive difference this spring,” said Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for facilities services.
On the Way Up
To the north of the Hill, one can see progress on the Ken and Blaire Mossman Building, a six-floor classroom and laboratory facility across Cumberland Avenue. The building will house portions of microbiology, psychology, nutrition, and biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology. It will have labs, general-purpose classrooms, a landscaped garden with outdoor seating, and interactive lecture halls similar to those in Strong Hall. Construction is set to finish this spring, with move-in during the summer.
From Cumberland Avenue, visible work continues on the second phase of the Student Union project. The exterior walls are being finished now, with interior work expected to begin later in the spring. When the new portion opens in 2019, the facility will include a large auditorium, a ballroom for events and banquets, additional dining areas, a student recreation area, and additional space for meetings and conferences.
Renovation on the Cowan Cottage next to Strong Hall is set to finish this spring. The building will feature exposed wooden trusses in a multistory space for classes, meetings, and events. “It’s a great combination of a historic space with cutting-edge technology, videoconferencing, and the latest instructional tools,” Irvin said. “We think our students and faculty will be excited to use it.”
Pieces of the new Lake Avenue Garage are being assembled on site, adjacent to the current garage. The new garage is set to open by this fall. Construction also continues on the next two residence halls in the west campus area. Both will have classrooms and meeting rooms on the lower level, similar to Orange and White Halls. The new buildings will open in 2019.
The Volunteer Boulevard streetscape project winding through the heart of campus enters its third and final phase this spring. “We’re renovating the roadway and sidewalks from Peyton Manning Pass to Cumberland Avenue, which is a big stretch,” Irvin said. Plans for this section include adding a checkerboard pattern in bricks at the intersection of Volunteer Boulevard and the Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Walkway, along with traffic-calming humps. Periodic lane closures will take place during the work, which should be substantially complete by the end of the year.
Other beautification projects starting this spring include a new staircase down the northside slope of the International House, replacing old railroad ties. Landscaping is set for the south side of Thompson-Boling Arena facing Neyland Drive, and new Bermuda grass will be planted in Circle Park, around the Humanities Building, and along the Pedestrian Walkway.
Brooke Krempa (865-214-7662, email@example.com)