UT System selects architect for new building

Madlin Mekelburg

The UT System has selected “Page/,” an Austin architectural firm, as project architect for the construction of the new System headquarters downtown. 

The System will consolidate its employees and services into one new building on Seventh Street between Lavaca and Colorado streets. The building will be nine stories high with more than 258,000 square feet of office space. 

“Page/” was selected from 12 different proposals submitted to the System and will provide all of the new building construction’s design services, which is expected to be completed by early 2017.

Currently, the System operates out of five buildings downtown: Henry Hall, Johnson Hall, Ashbel Smith Hall and the Lavaca and Colorado buildings. According to System spokeswoman Jenny LaCoste-Caputo, the Lavaca and Colorado buildings will be demolished to make room for the construction of the new building.

In a press release from the System, Scott Kelley, executive vice chancellor for business affairs, said the total project cost is more than $102 million and will be funded through Revenue Financing System bonds and not through general revenue or tuition dollars. 

According to Kelley, the projected savings for the System could be between $2 million and $8 million a year, with a total estimated net savings of more than $125 million over 30 years.

Kelley said more than 50,000 square feet of the new building will be leased to retailers. The remaining System buildings  — Henry Hall, Johnson Hall and Smith Hall — will be available for leasing after services move to the new building.

LaCoste-Caputo said the construction will displace approximately 200 employees, who will temporarily move to other office spaces around Austin.