UT’s Ken and Blaire Mossman Building, a six-floor facility designed for collaborative research and featuring the latest in teaching technology, is among the many new buildings and upgraded facilities changing the face of campus this fall.
Mossman is just the latest phase of the university’s multiyear construction boom, with more than a billion dollars in new buildings and renovations of existing facilities, matching the pace of the university’s huge growth spurt of the 1960s.
“It’s fun meeting with alumni who are back on campus, watching them view all the changes we’ve made in the last few years,” said Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for Facilities Services. “When they experience how their memories of campus have been reimagined for a new generation of students, it’s very rewarding.”
On the outside, the 221,000-square-foot Mossman Building uses the collegiate Gothic style that thematically links it with other new campus buildings. The big difference, Irvin said, is on the inside.
“Many of our current buildings were designed for one or two specific departments or schools,” Irvin said. “But with Mossman, we knew early on that we wanted to encourage faculty research across multiple academic disciplines, and the building was designed with that in mind.”
Researchers from microbiology, psychology, nutrition, biochemistry, and cellular and molecular biology will work in close proximity, with opportunities to collaborate on special projects and long-term research. Faculty and staff have been moving into the building over the summer.
Much like Strong Hall to the west, Irvin said, the Mossman Building features interactive classrooms that encourage team learning. Instructors undergo special training in order to maximize the teaching technology. Scattered throughout the building are spaces for students to gather and study. An Einstein Bros. Bagels restaurant, still under construction, will offer indoor and outdoor seating next to Hoskins Library.
Familiar Tennessee Touch
The well-known checkerboard theme used on the exterior of the Mossman Building and other buildings plays a starring role in the last phase of the Volunteer Boulevard streetscape project between Cumberland Avenue and Peyton Manning Pass. The intersection of Volunteer Boulevard and the Johnson-Ward Pedestrian Walkway features an eye-catching checkerboard pattern made from special paving stones. This stretch of Volunteer Boulevard also features traffic calming raised pedestrian crossings and enhanced green space. Other landscaping improvements have taken place in Circle Park and the lawn near the Humanities and Social Sciences Building.
Projects Add Convenience, Accessibility
The newly opened Terrace Avenue Parking Garage offers 1,000 spaces for commuter students, faculty, and staff during the academic year, and free parking for visitors to Cumberland Avenue on weeknights and non-football weekends.
Renovations to the historic Clarence Brown Theatre are complete, with double the number of restrooms and accessibility upgrades including wheelchair lifts in the lobby.
Works in Progress
Work has commenced on the new Engineering Complex at the southeast corner of Neyland Stadium.
The demolition of Estabrook, Berry, and Pasqua Halls is substantially finished. When construction is completed in 2021, the 228,000-square-foot building will be the home of the nuclear engineering department, the engagefreshman engineering fundamentals program, classrooms, and laboratories.
Meanwhile, work continues on the second phase of the Student Union project. Scheduled to open in January 2019, the new part of the building will house a large auditorium, a ballroom for events and banquets, student organization and recreation areas, an admissions welcome center, offices for the SGA and dean of students, and additional space for programs, conferences, and meetings.
Work is also under way on two new residence halls in the west campus area near Andy Holt Avenue. Those halls, due to be completed in January 2019, will house 872 students.
Charles Primm (865-974-5180, email@example.com)