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UT Arlington breaks ground for new Special Events Center

Friday, March 5, 2010

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Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

ARLINGTON - Civic leaders, student athletes and University supporters joined Mayor Robert Cluck and President James D. Spaniolo today to break ground on UT Arlington's $78 million Special Events Center.

College Park Center

UT Arlington Special Events Center

The multi-purpose center, designed by HKS Inc., will rise on the University's east side, between Second and Third streets east of South Pecan Street. The facility offers UT Arlington's basketball and volleyball teams their first true home court, a venue that will move the teams from the Texas Hall stage, where they have played since 1965.

The Special Events Center also gives downtown Arlington a signature venue for world-class concerts, conferences, commencement ceremonies and other community events. The center will accommodate up to 7,600 patrons for a center-stage concert and more than 6,600 for a traditional court-based athletics event.

"We cannot fully predict the impact that the Special Events Center will have on our University community and on our city," President Spaniolo said. "We pledge to pack this world-class facility with sports, entertainment and community activities. It will play a pivotal role in making Arlington a true College Town."

The center is expected to open by December 2011.

Among the center's features:

  • A 3,000-square-foot hospitality suite that can be subdivided based on space needs
  • A 3,100-square-foot academic center with a computer lab, group study room and advising offices for athletes and other students
  • A state-of-the art media center for full event coverage

Cluck noted the city's recent pledge of $18 million toward the planned College Park, a mixed-use development to the north of the center that will wrap residence halls and street-level retail space around a four-story parking garage. College Park is expected to open in 2012.

"We've all seen what Cowboys Stadium has done for Arlington, and UT Arlington's Special Events Center will have a similar effect," Mayor Cluck said. "This venue is at the heart of our revitalization efforts in the central business district. It will be a catalyst for development and re-development in our city."

The Special Events Center is the newest of several key developments along Center Street and UTA Boulevard. The University's 230,000-square-foot Engineering Research Building will open in early 2011. First Baptist Church of Arlington, at 300 S. Center St., underwent a major expansion and renovation in 2006. The Levitt Pavilion for the Performing Arts opened in October 2008 at Abram and Center streets.

In addition, UT Arlington and the City of Arlington are partnering to develop the Center Street Green, a pedestrian plaza that will connect to the Center Street Trail on the south side of the Special Events Center.

HKS has designed the 218,000-square-foot events center to meet LEED Silver standards. The building incorporates many energy-efficient features, including low-emittance glazed windows, a highly reflective roof that will reduce the solar load on the building and a low-use water system. The building will incorporate regional materials and will include native landscaping.

Hunt Construction Group Inc. of Dallas has been named as construction manager for the Special Events Center.

Contracting inquiries should be directed to The University of Texas System Office of Facilities Planning and Construction at or 512-499-4600.

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