Faculty, staff, and students at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, will experience campus infrastructure improvements throughout the academic year as the university continues to make Rocky Top the best place to learn, live, work, and play. Take a look at some of the projects below.
Two new band facilities—the Pride of the Southland Band Practice Facility and the John and Ann Tickle Band Teaching Tower—were completed in the spring. They are located just east of the Student Aquatic Center and north of the intramural fields. The practice facility includes a shelter for the band and a place to store instruments. The tower provides an ideal vantage point for the band director to observe and film practices.
The new West Campus Dining Facility on Andy Holt Avenue includes 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 has extra-large windows, vaulted ceilings, and fireplaces, with a spacious, comfortable design. It includes an accessible path that rises from the Andy Holt section of the Johnson–Ward Pedestrian Walkway to the residence halls.
The 19,000-square-foot Third Creek Building opened in January 2020 and is serving as the temporary home for UT Institute of Agriculture faculty and staff.
The Zeanah Engineering Complex, next to Neyland Stadium, opens up 20 additional instructional classrooms, including four active learning spaces. The facility will eventually provide 228,000 square feet of classrooms, maker spaces, flexible research laboratories, and offices for the Tickle College of Engineering, including a new home for the Department of Nuclear Engineering. A grand opening is scheduled for the spring.
Also in the past year, UT’s Facilities Services team has renovated 23 classrooms in eight different buildings with new flooring, lighting, furniture, AV equipment, and marker boards.
Kicking off Neyland Stadium’s centennial season, bronze statues honoring trailblazing former players Lester McClain, Jackie Walker, Condredge Holloway, and Tee Martin were unveiled in the plaza outside Gate 21 just before the season opener versus Bowling Green. The statues were crafted by noted New Jersey sculptor Brian Hanlon. The stadium also has new LED lights.
After the conclusion of the 2021 football season, several transformational enhancements will be made to improve the gameday and fan experience throughout Neyland Stadium. Specific improvements include a new north-side video board and new premium seating experience both in the west stands and upper north deck.
Construction on the UT Creamery, located in the former Faculty Club and Visitors Center, will be completed by spring. Students will make different flavors of ice cream and sell them in the retail facility. The Facilities Services construction team installed a new freezer system and emergency power source in the Brehm Animal Sciences Building to support the ice cream operation.
Construction is being finalized for the National Pan-Hellenic Council Plaza, where plots will commemorate nine historically African American sororities and fraternities within NPHC. Xavier Greer, a recent UT graduate and Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. member, said, “It means a lot to see UT invest in the NPHC community. As an alumni, it brings a sense of pride to know underrepresented groups on campus are getting the recognition they deserve.”
The plaza was designed by IBI Placemaking and is being installed by UT Facilities Construction along the pedestrian mall by Humanities Plaza, near the amphitheater. It will be dedicated on November 13 before UT’s homecoming game versus Georgia.
Phase II of the Joe Johnson–John Ward Pedestrian Walkway expansion, which will extend the walkway to 21st Street, will be completed by January 2022. Phase I, which goes from the Clarence Brown Theatre westward along Andy Holt Avenue to Frances Street, was completed in 2020.
The College of Veterinary Medicine is building an addition onto the north face of the Veterinary Medical Center. The new space will house a 19,375-square-foot simulation and teaching lab, gathering spaces, and a new entrance to the Pendergrass Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Library. Construction is expected to be completed in the spring.
“The Teaching and Learning Center will enhance the college’s educational, interactive, and welcoming environment and support students’ professional and personal growth,” said Associate Dean of Administration and Clinical Programs Bob DeNovo. “The simulation lab is an innovative teaching tool that offers our students the opportunity to become proficient and confident in performing technical skills before and during their clinical experiences.”
The Ellington Plant Sciences Building has been demolished and the 157,000-square-foot Energy and Environmental Science Research Building, designed by Barber McMurry Architects in association with Lord Aeck Sargent, is rising from the foundation. Construction will be complete in early 2024. The building will include a 500-seat auditorium, labs and classrooms, common areas, and a food-service area. Its green roof will gather stormwater, provide research opportunities, and accommodate social gatherings and events.
Local firm Sanders Pace Architecture and LMN Architects of Seattle have been hired to design the replacement for the Carousel Theatre, which will be named the Jenny Boyd Carousel Theatre. After a year of design, construction will take another year and a half.
“We’re all very excited for a future where students learn in the special aspects of this space but with up-to-date construction and technology,” said Catherine Stepanek, a master’s student in scenic design, when the replacement was announced. The new theatre will include backstage spaces for actors as well as bathrooms for both performers and audience members.
The renovation of and addition to the College of Nursing building is projected to double the size of the current facility and allow the college to further increase its enrollment. The renovated and expanded building, projected to be approximately 100,000 square feet, will serve as a home for learning, advising, interdisciplinary collaboration, student activities, and research.
According to Dean Victoria Niederhauser, “This renovated and expanded building will provide students and faculty with an experiential learning environment that is inclusive and welcoming—that fosters collaboration and supports the growing academic and research mission of the College of Nursing.”
The new space is planned to also house the college’s nationally recognized Health Innovation Technology and Simulation Laboratory, which is currently located in another building across campus.
The new building, set to be constructed on Volunteer Boulevard, will be named after Sara Croley (’00) and her husband, Ross. The naming comes after the college received its largest gift to date—$7.5 million—from the couple in October 2019. The UT Board of Trustees approved the naming of the building after the Croleys during its meeting ending October 22. After a year of design work, construction will take two and a half years.
For more information on campus construction projects, visit the Cone Zone website.
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