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Notes from the Chancellor » Construction and Beautification Updates


Construction and Beautification Updates

Coach Butch Jones

Our aggressive building schedule is beginning to yield big results for our students. We are on track to open two new academic facilities next fall.

The Natalie L. Haslam Music Center and the John D. Tickle Engineering Building are entering their final phase and are on track to open in August.

The School of Music’s new home has evolved considerably during the last several months. The modern glass façade and primary entrance are designed to maximize natural light and reduce energy costs. The green and clear glass patterns celebrate music. If you look closely, variations in the glass appear to be musical notes.

The five-story John D. Tickle Engineering Building is designed for collaborative learning with three flexible classrooms, two seminar rooms, and nine purpose-built instructional laboratories, plus one lecture theater. Nearly every element of the building will have a practical training purpose, with both the first and second floors housing a series of state-of-the-art laboratories that will greatly enrich student learning. One lab is a high-bay structural testing area, which is two stories tall and will house two working cranes for maneuvering large concrete structures for testing. In the lobby, a 25-foot-tall tank holding more than 8,000 gallons of water will be an aesthetic feature, and also serve as a pressurized water source for the adjacent hydraulics lab. The building will house the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

The new RecSports Complex on Sutherland Avenue is expected to be substantially complete by March, although the grass fields won’t be ready for use until summer. The project involves ten multi-use fields that will accommodate our student intramural program. The new complex also will allow us to host more games with other schools.

Progress is continuing at Sorority Village, and the brick entranceway, fence, and signage will be finished this spring. Six chapter houses are now occupied and as many as 250 young women now call Sorority Village home. We expect another four houses and the new Panhellenic Building to open on the site before next fall.

The Lake Loudoun streetscape project has resumed and should be completed by fall 2013. It will include new sidewalks, retaining walls to match the Neyland Drive entrance, and new landscaping.

The Stokely Athletic Center was vacated in December. The building was the longtime home of our basketball programs before Thompson-Boling Arena was built. We are now in the process of planning for its demolition and determining short- and long-term use of the land.

Our landscape master plan is now complete and can be viewed at masterplan.utk.edu/landscape. It complements our campus master plan and helps transform our campus into a pedestrian-friendly and more unified and connected learning environment. Three large projects have been identified because they will have the most immediate impact. They involve creating a Perkins-Ferris Quad, extending the Johnson Ward Pedestrian Mall Extension, and improving Volunteer Boulevard. These projects will be funded through the campus beautification fee and work should commence next year.