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Building projects greet Fall 2016 students, faculty, staff, visitors

Thursday, September 1, 2016

News Topics: faculty, staff, student life, students

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With a likely record number of students calling The University of Texas at Arlington home this fall and continued growth, returning students, faculty, staff and visitors will see a number of substantial, physical campus changes from spring 2016.

Official enrollment numbers won’t be out until mid-September but construction projects abound at North Texas’ model 21st century urban research university.

Construction at UTA

Construction at UTA is taking place across the campus this fall and spring.

One of the biggest changes takes place on the southern edge of the campus where the construction of the new Science and Engineering Innovation and Research building commences.

The 220,000-square-foot building will rise just south of University Hall and the Life Science Building and will support significant growth of students in areas of workforce need and provide the basis for enhanced research activity.

The UT System Board of Regents approved the design for the $125 million SEIR building this summer. The official groundbreaking is scheduled for late October.

This new modern glass and steel structure will provide a new, iconic southern entry to the UTA campus. The project will add 900 teaching seats in lecture halls and classrooms, which will support enrollment growth across campus, especially the planned growth in the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing and Health Innovation, and the College of Science.

Duane Dimos, UTA vice president for research, said the SEIR building will serve as an inspiration point for students and also as a visually grand entrance at the southern edge of the campus.

“We want the building and especially the ideas that spring from the SEIR to positively impact the health and wellness of our community and society in general,” Dimos said. “What is taught in the building will represent everything from the basic understanding of science, technology, engineering and mathematics to research results that will transform the world in line with the goals of UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.”

In addition, University students, faculty, staff and visitors can see the new Career Development Center, extending from the eastern edge of the University Center.

The center will be a next-generation hub for students and alumni seeking jobs and the marketable skills today’s employers seek in their workforce. It will serve those students and alumni as a resource for resume writing, sharpening interview skills, networking, job searches and salary negotiation, and will do so from the beginning of the UTA experience through to graduation and beyond.

The center also will serve as a conduit for employers seeking job candidates, student internship applicants and a link to the vibrant, freshly minted workforce.

On the west side of campus, two antiquated apartment complexes were leveled to make way for temporary parking. Those two parking plots eventually could become future academic space according to the University’s master plan.

Other older apartment buildings on the campus, north of the university center and at south end of the campus by West Mitchell and South Pecan streets also will be removed.  Once removed, adjacent surface parking lots will be expanded to address parking spaces that will be lost with planned construction.

Across Nedderman Drive, the parking lot north of the Maverick Activities Center will eventually house a new 500-bed residence hall to be constructed in mid to late spring. That complex will be located on the southwest corner of the MAC parking lot. The $30.8 million facility is scheduled to open in fall 2018.

Phase 2 of the west side construction project includes another planned 500-bed residence hall erected in the northwest corner of that MAC parking lot.

For students, the new residence halls will translate to a living/learning environment similar to Vandergriff Hall.

“The new room designs will be very similar to Vandergriff Hall but these are double occupancy rooms versus the suites in Arlington Hall and Kalpana Chawla Hall,” said John Hall, UTA vice president for administration and campus operations. “The double occupancy rooms are in the greatest demand by our students as many prefer the more social interaction these rooms provide versus the private bedroom suites.”

UTA now has about 5,200 students living on campus and another 5,000 living within the general campus vicinity.

Construction of a west side dining hall facility will begin in the spring as well with that $21 million facility scheduled to open in the fall of 2018. The dining facility will feature an open concept with natural lighting and will include a student union space on the second floor.

A 1,500-car parking garage to support all the residence halls is anticipated to open in the northeast corner of that MAC parking lot in fall 2017 to accommodate projected growth of the university.

About The University of Texas at Arlington

The University of Texas at Arlington is a Carnegie Research-1 “highest research activity” institution of about 55,000 students in campus-based and online degree programs and is the second-largest institution in The University of Texas System. U.S. News & World Report ranks UTA fifth in the nation for undergraduate diversity. The University is a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is ranked as the top four-year college in Texas for veterans on Military Times’ 2016 Best for Vets list. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more, and find UTA rankings and recognition at www.uta.edu/uta/about/rankings.php.

For more on the Strategic Plan, see Strategic Plan 2020: Bold Solutions | Global Impact.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.