KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — The University of Tennessee has been looking at ways to try and better the on-campus experience for its students and those who visit for leisure or gamedays.
The university’s Advisory Board had a meeting on Friday to present the master plan for the campus.
One of the big topics talked about in the meeting was the need for housing on and around campus as well as where everyone will park. One of the principal architects overseeing the planning shared their vision for the campus moving forward.
“The orange buildings are existing and proposed housing,” Ayres Saint Gross architect Jessica Leonard said. “There is already a plan for where some of the initial buildings in that 5,000 will be. There’s capacity beyond that for additional housing. One exciting area that we have been exploring is the land owned and adjacent to University on Caledonia closer to Cumberland. You think of that town-gown, edge-of-campus relationship.”
The housing issue has become a bigger problem in recent years due to the number of students enrolling at the University.
We have become a destination for students,” UT Chancellor Donde Plowman said. “Our applications and interest in UT Knoxville is up across the state of Tennessee and it’s dramatically up across the country. It is true that the night we beat Alabama we had 800 applications drop almost all from out of state.”
Parking was another one of the hot topics discussed at the meeting. With the number of people attending UT, there is not enough parking on campus but solutions are being looked at.
“This does have some significant garages that will take surface lots today and create greater density,” Leonard said. “There was one by the current Rec center, the large one right along the railroad tracks that would be about 1,000 cars that would be really proximate.”
Out of the entire plan, there is only one proposed road closure, and there is already a new road replacement plan in place.
“Really the only road we have proposed closing is Chapman Drive and that really provides the ability to have that loop road that would connect and have accessible parking,” Leonard said.
The board looked through the entire master plan which goes out as far as 10 years from now. It was also mentioned that the campus looks completely different from a decade ago and that change will just keep coming as more people choose to attend UT.