As you will see on the pages of this magazine—as you already may have seen in person—change has gloriously gripped our campus. Both the Smart Hospital and the architecturally stunning Maverick Activities Center opened early this fall semester, and we expect to break ground soon on two structures for the College of Engineering.
All just to keep pace with the needs of our thriving University.
The Smart Hospital, a one-of-a-kind crown jewel in The University of Texas System, will make UT Arlington a leader in nursing education (see Nursing education reinvented). Our nurses will be even better prepared to make a difference in Texas’ hospitals and will no doubt be leaders in their industry.
As we prepared to celebrate the Smart Hospital opening in August, I heard a story that shows how far UT Arlington is ahead of the curve. A student was choosing among the nation’s top nursing schools. She toured the Smart Hospital, then another university. Here, she saw more than 30 high-fidelity patient simulators; at the other university, they showed her how to start an IV using a piece of fruit.
Do I need to tell you that she enrolled at UT Arlington?
While facilities like the Smart Hospital ensure that our students learn using the latest technologies, we’re also committed to the complete college experience. Where the nondescript, boxy Activities Building once stood is now the spectacular Maverick Activities Center. We call it the MAC.
The MAC roughly doubled the Activities Building space, while adding more than 100 pieces of cardio equipment and weight machines, meeting rooms, multipurpose areas, a computer lab and dining options on the west side of campus. The center is also home to Department of Kinesiology laboratories.
Take one look, and you’ll know why we consider this a signature building. There’s no question that it will help recruit students, faculty and staff, as well as bring alumni back to their alma mater. In fact, graduates are encouraged to use the MAC, and I hope I’ll see you there.
The MAC may be one of our most beautiful new projects, but it’s hardly the biggest. That honor goes to the Engineering Research Building, which will break ground within a year near Nedderman Hall on the north side of campus. At more than 220,000 square feet, it will vastly increase UT Arlington’s ability to conduct leading-edge research. The difference it can make for our University, for Texas and for our nation will be immeasurable. It should open by 2011.
A student was choosing among the nation’s top nursing schools. She toured the Smart Hospital, then another university. Here, she saw more than 30 high-fidelity patient simulators; at the other university, they showed her how to start an IV using a piece of fruit.
It’s one of two new engineering buildings. Part of our burgeoning partnership with Hanson Pipe & Precast, a Dallas-based manufacturer of concrete products, is the Center for Structural Engineering Research, which will go up about 10 miles east of campus near Hanson’s concrete pipe plant in Grand Prairie. Our engineers will team with Hanson to test the safety, strength, longevity and durability of building materials. At more than 70,000 square feet, this will be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the nation.
In addition to these structures, we’re adding two floors to the Engineering Lab Building, roughly doubling the usable space and remaking its appearance. We also are considering adding civil engineering space on the west side of campus.
As we continue to grow as a research-intensive university, and as student life becomes more and more important to UT Arlington’s culture, our landscape will transform. These are exciting times to be a Maverick, and I hope you will keep track of all that’s happening at your University.
— James D. Spaniolo
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