University of Tennessee filled with construction projects

University of Tennessee filled with construction projects

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This is the busiest summer UT has ever had when it comes to construction projects This is the busiest summer UT has ever had when it comes to construction projects
Metal fences, piles of rubble, and warning signs all clues that point to another project. Metal fences, piles of rubble, and warning signs all clues that point to another project.
The final touches are happening right now at Fred Brown Residence Hall, the first one built in nearly 40 years. The final touches are happening right now at Fred Brown Residence Hall, the first one built in nearly 40 years.
By LAURA HALM
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - If you're familiar with University of Tennessee's campus, but haven't visited in a while, you might be shocked with all the changes. Buildings which have stood for decades are gone, or will be soon, and the campus is dotted with construction sites.

This is the busiest summer UT has ever had when it comes to construction projects. There are three big ones you'll notice: the new Student Union, demolition of Stokely Athletic Center, and a new residence hall opening this fall. All the, are projects that together equal nearly $1 billion in construction.

Metal fences, piles of rubble, and warning signs all clues that point to another project.

"They've ripped all this down. It's just everywhere you go there's more construction," said graduate student Juliet Sutphin.

Strong Hall for example, built in 1925, is being torn down nearly 90 years later. It's becoming a science and laboratory facility.

Then there's the new Student Union which should be open by the spring of next year, but right now crews are only on phase one.

"The second phase will begin then and we'll tear down the existing building, that second phase will more than double the existing building with extra space for student offices," said Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services Dave Irvin.

The final touches are happening right now at Fred Brown Residence Hall, the first one built in nearly 40 years. Stokely Athletic Center is being torn down and will soon turn into a second new residence hall.

"That will open in fall of 2016 and a new parking garage, and a new dining facility," added Irvin.

While those are projects you'll be able to spot, work is also being done on a smaller scale.

"Well everything from re-roofing on over 100 buildings to classroom improvements on 25 buildings. Actually it would be easier to tell you which buildings aren't being impacted this summer," said Irvin.

All this is happening now simply because there aren't as many people on campus.

"It'll be sad because I won't be here when they finish the new UC, but I'm sure it'll be great for the new students," said Sutphin.

A new pedestrian bridge near the student union is also opening this fall. We're told the much-needed walkway will help accessibility for all students, especially those with mobility issues.
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