The university is moving forward with plans to demolish Stokely Athletics Center and Gibbs Hall to make way for a new parking garage, residence hall and dining facility, and the expansion of the football practice fields.
The State Building Commission approved demolition plans today for Stokely and Gibbs so that work can begin early next year. The commission will consider project budgets and proposed building locations at its October meeting.
The goal is to have Stokely and Gibbs removed by summer 2014. Plans call for a 1,000–space parking garage to be built first along Volunteer Boulevard. Construction is expected to finish by summer 2015. The project is estimated at $24.4 million, to be financed by parking fees and the issuance of revenue bonds through the State School Bond Authority.
Building of a new residence hall on the east side of the site will follow, close to the current Gibbs Hall location. It will feature 600 beds in single-occupancy rooms with shared living areas. The 33,000-square-foot residence hall will be open to male and female students. The hall’s dining facility will be open to all students, faculty, and staff, which also addresses the need for additional dining options in that area of campus. The residence hall is expected to open by summer 2016. The total estimated construction cost is $64.3 million, which will be financed through student housing fees and revenue bonds.
The third phase—tentatively set for summer 2016—involves expanding Haslam Field to add more football practice areas. Once complete, the facility will have three full-size exterior grass outdoor practice fields along with the nearby indoor full-size practice field. This project is estimated to cost $10 million and will be funded solely by a private donor.
Stokely Athletic Center, which was built in 1958, closed its doors for good in December 2012. Memorabilia from its decades as home of the Volunteer men’s and women’s basketball teams is stored in other areas of campus. Gibbs Hall, which was built in 1963, is currently unoccupied.
Charles Primm (865-974-5180, firstname.lastname@example.org)