Urban Development
6:00 am
Thu December 12, 2013

UT Announces Major Construction Proposal

A rendering from architectural firm Lord Aeck Sargent shows what the University of Tennessee hopes its new student dorms will look like when a massive construction effort is complete.
Credit University of Tennessee

The University of Tennessee's flagship campus in Knoxville has plans to tear down six residence halls in the next five years, and replace them with seven new halls and a dining facility.

The current structures were built more than forty years ago, university officials said, and their successors will be roomier and more modern. Plans call for the demolition of the first building, Shelbourne Towers, as early as next spring, and for work to continue on the remainder of the buildings through 2018.

Part of goal, according to UT, is to create more accommodating facilities for students who live on campus. The current high-rise towers will be replaced by three- to four-story buildings with more pedestrian space and greater flexibility for interior decoration.

"We know from our student focus groups that our current facilities are a barrier to student engagement and interaction," UT Executive Director of Housing Frank Cuevas said in a statement. "This project will transform their residential experience and the overall campus community."

The project's overall price tag is projected to clock in around $234 million, a sum the university says will be paid through housing and dining revenues. Approval must still be secured from the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees and the State Building Commission.