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Construction work continues on the future Engineering Service Complex
Construction work continues on the future Engineering Service Complex on December 31, 2019. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of Tennessee

With the new year now under way, a variety of new and continuing construction projects are greeting University of Tennessee, Knoxville, students, faculty, and staff returning to campus for the spring semester. Classes begin Wednesday, January 8.

“Our construction projects are moving forward very quickly this spring,” said Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for facilities services. “You can really see the difference on campus.”

Work continues on the new Engineering Complex, west campus dining facility, Morrill Hall demolition, and additional projects. The Joe Johnson–John Ward Pedestrian Walkway extension will begin soon.

New Engineering Complex

On the east end of campus, work is accelerating on the new Engineering Complex next to Neyland Stadium. “Soon you will see the structure top out and exterior walls start to go up,” Irvin said. When finished in fall 2021, the facility will provide 228,000 square feet of classrooms, offices, and state-of-the-art research space for the Tickle College of Engineering.

West campus dining facility

To the west, utilities are in place and structures are rising on the site of the new dining facility on Andy Holt Avenue. When it opens in fall 2021, the facility will include a full-service Chick-fil-A and a fresh-food concept similar to the one now in place at the Stokely Residence Hall. “The dining area will have extra-large windows, vaulted ceilings, and fireplaces, all with a spacious, comfortable design,” Irvin said.

Morrill Hall demolition

Demolition of the old Morrill Hall is almost complete. Once the debris is removed, the space initially will be used as a staging area for construction materials for building the dining facility. When that project is complete, the site will be converted into a landscaped green space.

A section of Andy Holt Avenue in front of the Morrill Hall demolition site is closed as workers replace water mains beneath the street. Campus buses and shuttles have been rerouted around the closure.

Pedestrian Walkway

Work will begin soon on extending the Joe Johnson–John Ward Pedestrian Walkway from the Clarence Brown Theatre westward along Andy Holt Avenue to Frances Street. Once the work starts, the section of Andy Holt Avenue between Melrose Place and Pat Head Summitt Street will permanently close.

The project also will affect Frances Street, located between Presidential Court and Fred Brown Hall, and the section of Melrose Avenue from Presidential Court to the Frieson Black Cultural Center. Frances Street will be closed, although the Office of Equity and Diversity and a service road along the north side of Fred Brown Hall will remain accessible. The section of Melrose will be a two-way street rather than a one-way street.

The hot dog stand on the corner of Melrose Place and Andy Holt Avenue will be relocated to the intersection of Volunteer Boulevard and Pat Head Summitt Street.

The Pedestrian Walkway project is set to finish by the end of this year.

The Joe Johnson-John Ward Pedestrian Walkway will be expanded westward along Andy Holt Avenue. Photo by Steven Bridges/University of Tennessee

Additional projects

The second phase of the Pride of the Southland Band field project gets under way this spring with the construction of a new pavilion next to the band tower. When completed this summer, the pavilion will give the band a sheltered location to conduct their practices. The space also will be available for special events and other activities for students, faculty, and staff.

Construction continues on the Surge Building on the agricultural campus. Once completed this fall, the 19,000-square-foot building will be the temporary home for agriculture faculty and staff as the Ellington Plant Sciences Building is demolished and rebuilt.

Over the winter break, Irvin said, work crews began refreshing the interior of the Walters Academic Building to prepare it for classroom space for art and theatre students. The work will continue this spring.

For more information on campus construction projects, visit the Cone Zone website.


Sam Ledford (865-297-3027,

Charles Primm (865-974-5180,