KNOXVILLE — From new upgrades to Neyland Stadium to overhauls of key academic buildings, the University of Tennessee campus is growing and changing at a rapid pace.
With as many as nine construction projects underway, campus facilities are expanding to meet growing enrollment and thriving programs.
Pedestrian and vehicle travel and other adjustments are necessary in some cases to accommodate work, but UT officials say the end result will be well worth the inconveniences. Additional city growth and progress along the footprint of the campus has prompted a few changes in parking arrangements.
Among the key projects are the following:
• Glocker Business Administration building, the primary facility for the College of Business for more than 50 years is being almost completely rebuilt. Summer work involved installing pylons and the primary foundation for what will be a new six-story, state-of-the-art classroom building with a tentative opening in spring/summer 2008. One lane of traffic on Andy Holt Avenue has been shut down during this building phase, but two lanes remain for westbound traffic only.
• The Howard Baker Center for Public Policy is being built on the corner of Melrose and Cumberland avenues. Construction has been ongoing since November and is expected to last approximately two years. Site work and underground utility work continues in preparation for the basement slab to be poured in the next few weeks. The structural steel will be erected in September. The new facility will include a museum that will tell the story of Baker’s life, explore modern Tennessee politics and engage students in interactive civic instruction. The building also will house the Modern Political Archives collections as well as a 200-seat auditorium with a rotunda for programs and classrooms with break-out rooms for instruction and conferences.
• Football fans entering Neyland Stadium this season will see major improvements to the north side of the stadium, near Gate 21, including wider concourses, new and renovated restrooms as well as new concession stands. Club seating was also added to the stadium, complementing the stadium’s premium seating/viewing options. The new club seating on the east side of the stadium serves as a primary funding source for the renovations.
• Construction began last summer on the agricultural campus for the new business incubator being developed in partnership with the city, Knox County, the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee Valley Authority and Knoxville Utilities Board. The site is located near the old greenhouses, just off Joe Johnson Drive and adjacent to Staff Lot 66.
• The Sherri Parker Lee Softball Stadium project also began last summer and will be completed in spring 2007. The new stadium is named for a generous Knoxville donor and will feature permanent stands, dugouts, lights, locker rooms, restrooms and concession facilities. It will be built adjacent to Regal Soccer Stadium, which is currently under construction on Stephenson Drive off Neyland Drive.
• Construction on the new 3,000-seat Lady Vols soccer stadium began last December and will continue through November. The stadium bears the name of the Knoxville-based Regal Entertainment Group and includes new restrooms and concession stands, home and visiting team locker rooms and team meeting areas, a players’ lounge for the Lady Vols, a video room with theater seating and a new press box.
• The new Allan Jones Intercollegiate Aquatic Center will serve as the new home of the men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams when completed in late 2007. Now underway for about a year, the new state-of-the-art facility will replace the current student Aquatic Center and Ray Bussard Intercollegiate Pool that opened in 1967. The new pool is named in honor of Jones, a Cleveland, Tenn. businessman and generous donor. The current aquatic facility will be used solely for student recreation, once the new facility is completed.
• Construction began this month on the Larry F. Pratt Basketball Practice Pavilion, next to the Thompson Boling Assembly Center and Arena and on the site of the former Staff Lot 23. To accommodate the building, Staff Lot 23 has been moved across Lake Loudon Boulevard and to the site formerly known as Commuter Lot 3. The facility is named for Pratt, a Knoxville graduate and Athens, Tenn. resident. The building will be more commonly referred to as Pratt Pavilion.
• The City of Knoxville is extending its greenway from the Knoxville Convention Center to the waterfront, which impacts Staff Lot 7 and Commuter Lot 18. The city has extended parking for faculty/staff in the Poplar lot. The lot is located across Cumberland Avenue from the Knoxville Convention Center and adjacent to Church Street United Methodist Church.
• The university announced in May its plans to turn the University Club into a Campus Welcome Center. Daily food operations at the club will cease on Sept. 4. The university will continue to host Sunday brunches every week for all University Club members.
The Admissions office will begin hosting tours from the new Welcome Center in early October. Events will also be held in the facility’s banquet rooms. Long term plans involve adding accommodations for alumni and development staff, contingent on a private fundraising campaign for the project.
Contact: Karen Collins (865-974-5186 or 865-216-6862)