The Student Union replaces the University Center, which was built in 1952 and then expanded and remodeled in 1967.
The project is funded through existing student and user fees, and the facility will be at least 50 percent larger than the previous structure.
The Student Union will enhance services for our students and the entire community through a larger auditorium/performance venue; additional program, conference, and meeting space; a much larger ballroom for larger events and banquets; a new and expanded book and technology store; and more dining options.
- The Student Union will celebrate UT history and traditions
- The facility is being designed and constructed for LEED building standards
- A 50,000-square-foot bookstore (compared to the University Center’s 33,260-square-foot store)
- Approximately eight dining establishments and more than 1,000 seats (compared to the University Center’s 460 seats)
- A 10,000-square-foot, 1,000-seat auditorium (compared to the University Center’s 5,396-square-foot, 532-seat auditorium)
- A 12,000-square-foot ballroom with the capacity to seat 800 for banquets and 1,200 for lectures (compared to the University Center’s 3,942-square-foot-ballroom that can seat 300 to 450 people for a banquet)
- Center for Career Development
- VolCard Office
- Student Government Association office space
- Additional space for other student organizations
The first phase opened in June 2015. It includes five stories that house a new book and technology store, extensive dining and seating, and space for the Center for Career Development and other offices.
The old University Center garage, the Temple Court and Aconda Court buildings, the former Student Counseling Center, and a building at 812 Volunteer Boulevard were demolished to accommodate the construction.
Phase two is underway. When completed, it will include a large auditorium/performance venue, a large ballroom for events and banquets, additional dining areas, a student recreation area, the Vol Card office, UT Federal Credit Union, lounges, and additional program, conference, and meeting space. It also will extend the building’s footprint westward toward Volunteer Boulevard.
The new Student Union, which will be at least 50 percent larger than the current University Center, should be completed in 2018.
- University Center’s “Money Wall” outdoor ATMs close.
- Andy Holt Avenue permanently closes between Volunteer Boulevard and Phillip Fulmer Way.
- University Center parking garage closes and demolition begins.
- Two of three pedestrian bridges connecting the University Center Plaza with The Hill and Stokely Management Center close.
Approximately fifty parking spaces on the north end of the Staff 9 lot close as part of the construction.
The final pedestrian bridge connecting the University Center Plaza with The Hill and Stokely Management Center closes.
Construction fencing is installed along a portion of Volunteer Boulevard at Cumberland Avenue to prepare for the demolition of the former Counseling Center, Aconda Court, Temple Court, and 812 Volunteer Boulevard.
Demolition begins on the former Counseling Center, Aconda Court, Temple Court, and 812 Volunteer Boulevard.
Phillip Fulmer Way from Cumberland Avenue to Middle Drive closes for construction of a pedestrian bridge that will connect the Hill with the new Student Union.
The new pedestrian bridge, which spans Phillip Fulmer Way and restores a key link to the Hill, opens to the public. The bridge connects the Haslam Business Building, Volunteer Boulevard, and the Joe Johnson–John Ward Pedestrian Walkway to the Hill. On the east side of the bridge, the steps and landscape have been redone, and access to the top of the Hill has been improved by a pedestrian path through the nearby Austin Peay building.
Work begins to extend the landscaping adjacent to the Claxton Education Building—called Blueberry Falls—to integrate with new outdoor space planned for the Student Union. Blueberry Falls also will add a new direct pedestrian route from Volunteer Boulevard to Phillip Fulmer Way. The extension will feature a water cascade along the length of the greenway, new seating and designated bike parking.
Phase One, including a new bookstore, dining facilities, the Center for Career Development, and other office space, is completed and opened to the public. The first phase also includes a new landscaped outdoor plaza that connects the Pedestrian Mall and the Haslam Business Building to The Hill.
Phase Two begins with demolition of the old University Center building. When completed, Phase Two will include a large auditorium/performance venue, a large ballroom for events and banquets, additional dining areas, a student recreation area, the Vol Card office, UT Federal Credit Union, lounges, and additional program, conference, and meeting space.
Cumberland Avenue Corridor
This City of Knoxville project is redesigning Cumberland Avenue from Alcoa Highway east to Seventeenth Street, changing the existing four-lane street to three lanes with a raised median and left-turn lanes at intersections. Sidewalks will be widened and landscaped, and utilities buried, to create a more attractive, pedestrian-friendly corridor. The first phase, from Alcoa Highway to Twenty-Second Street, was completed in December 2015. The second phase, from Twenty-Second Street to just east of Seventeenth Street, is scheduled for completion in August 2017.
Ken and Blaire Mossman Building
Construction continues on this building on Cumberland Avenue and Thirteenth Street. When completed in 2018, it will house portions of microbiology, biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology, psychology, and nutrition, along with lab space and classrooms.
New Lake Avenue Parking Garage
A new parking garage will be located adjacent to the existing garage at 1818 Lake Avenue. This new facility will be designed for approximately 1,000 parking spaces on eight levels. The garage will include parking for commuter students, employees, and special events. The project also includes cosmetic and maintenance upgrades to the existing parking garage. The project is set to finish in January 2018.
Sophronia Strong Hall
The final phase of work is underway on Strong Hall, the highly visible classroom and office building on Cumberland Avenue at Sixteenth Street. The building’s laboratories and classrooms are set to open in the spring 2017 semester. Later in the semester, offices, research labs, and two large lecture halls will open for the departments of anthropology, biology, chemistry, and earth and planetary sciences.
Thompson-Boling Arena Reroofing Project
Work continues on replacement of the original roof of Thompson-Boling Arena and other exterior repairs. The reroofing portion of the project includes the installation of new metal panels, gutters and roof drains. Exterior ramps will be renovated with surface and underside repairs. All construction is scheduled around planned events at the arena.
Tom Black Track at LaPorte Stadium
A multi-faceted improvement project continues at this facility, which is closed until the project is completed in late 2016. The project includes a reconfigured infield, new irrigation and site drainage systems, resurfacing of the track, and power and data improvements. The project addresses the age of the track and its drainage system, optimizes the organization of the infield for performance and safety, and improves the technology of timing devices.
Volunteer Boulevard Streetscape
A section of Volunteer Boulevard from UT Drive to Pat Head Summitt Street was improved over the summer as part of a three-phase project to beautify Volunteer Boulevard. The road opened in August but work continues on the installation of new lighting and traffic lights, pedestrian crossings, and tables and chairs. The project also will strengthen the wireless internet connectivity in the area.