University’s nine construction projects to run through 2018

Paul Cobler

Construction has become a familiar sight on campus as students begin the new school year. 

The University is currently undertaking nine different construction projects to build new facilities and update older ones. While the construction hopes to improve University buildings, it also is a source of problems for students navigating their way across campus.

“We do know that the construction can cause the students, faculty and staff to have to change their usual routes to get to buildings on campus,” said Laurie Lentz, manager of Communications for University Operations. “But we do believe that once the construction is done, they’ll be very pleased with the results.”

The Engineering Education Research Center will be over 400,000 gross square feet upon completion in 2017. The building is being constructed on between San Jacinto Boulevard and Speedway, next to Ernest Cockrell Jr. Hall.

“I think it’s great,” mechanical engineering freshman Cesar Urueta said. “It’s awesome that the University is investing into the program that I’m in. I feel honored that I get to use the building for a long time during my career at UT.”

Robert B. Bowling Hall is being constructed on the corner of Guadalupe Street and MLK Boulevard.

When the building is completed by summer 2017, it will be over 200,000 square feet and host the McCombs School of Business’ graduate program.

Andres Bustamante, a supply chain management sophomore, said he is impressed with the improvements being made to his college.

“For me, as a McCombs student, I’ve been so pleased with what they’ve offered me,” Bustamante said. “The programs they offer there are just extraordinary, so for them to build a new facility where you can go as a grad student is just awesome.”

Upgrades to the Dell Medical District are also occurring, as construction of the Health Discovery Building and the Health Transformation Building are scheduled to be completed by summer 2017. There are also plans for roadway restoration and sidewalk improvements scheduled to begin in the spring, Lentz said.

The new tennis center will also begin construction in March and finish in early 2018. 

The center will be composed of 12 tennis courts, bleachers and several additional buildings.

Lentz said the construction is seen across campus as the University provides upgrades to the individual schools and colleges within it.

“It’s kind of a process of merging the needs of the individual schools with vision of the campus as a whole,” Lentz said.

Welch Hall is also having its teaching and research laboratories refurbished. Lentz said work on the 1929 wing is finishing up soon and work on the 1978 wing will start next summer.

Lentz said the University hopes by placing resources into the infrastructure of the campus, students’ overall experience will improve.

“The emphasis is really on providing the very best education by creating the best research opportunities and opportunities to collaborate and places to do that,” Lentz said. “The idea is to provide the best possible education and a positive overall
experience on campus.”