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markhollin

Vanderbilt University Tower and West End Dorms, 20 stories/6 stories, 340 units

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That's correct! They bumped a proposal from former AD Williams for a capital campaign for improved athletic facilities. The fat slob "Chancellor Zeppos" denied." They're building Hogwarts instead. Uh-oh! Did I just express my true feelings? 

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5 minutes ago, uberkarnie said:

I support the idea that they need a major capital campaign to improve the football stadium, but it's disingenuous to suggest the University does not support athletics. They've invested over $125 million in facility upgrades over the last 15 years. Subsidizing scholarships for athletes costs another $24 million a year. The on campus improvements to housing and other facilities benefit all students (including the athletes). I know I am an outlier, but apart from lines for the bathroom and slow egress, I'm not sure what people complain about with regard to Dudley. I mean, I guess it's ugly.  A new stadium would be cool, but how much sense does it make for a school to spend $300 million on a building that's used 6 times a year? I'm proud of the school's priorities, no student is turned away because of financial considerations anymore. The dorms are impressive, but they have improved academic buildings as well and are in the preliminary process for a major facilities campaign for remodeling buildings for the College of Arts and Science. I have always supported the student athletes and will continue to donate to both the Athletic Department and the University, but I don't think the student experience for the athletes is negatively impacted because of the condition of the football stadium.

Seems to me that $125m over 15 years is chump change for a major revenue-producing machine. And doesn’t Vandy have like a $5 billion endowment ? Vandy is just not keeping pace with its SEC peers. 

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25 minutes ago, uberkarnie said:

I counter that they are being responsible, unlike their SEC peers. All other sports have top notch facilities for fans and athletes (tennis needs a renovation). Who benefits from pumping huge amounts of money into the football stadium? It isn't the football players, they spend all their time using facilities that have been built new or replaced within the last five years. Also, the University will not tap into the endowment for these projects, that would be recklessly irresponsible. The University has improved itself unbelievably over the last twenty years, it is remarkable how much better the school is now than in the late '90's. I agree that some things can be done better, and am not opposed to fundraising for stadium renovations, I'm just not sure why people freak out over it.

I’m not freaking out about it. I just don’t understand your either-or stance. Are Vandy’s SEC peers eroding education and researching by throwing a bone to their cash-cow athletic programs ?

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2 hours ago, uberkarnie said:

I counter that they are being responsible, unlike their SEC peers. All other sports have top notch facilities for fans and athletes (tennis needs a renovation). Who benefits from pumping huge amounts of money into the football stadium? It isn't the football players, they spend all their time using facilities that have been built new or replaced within the last five years. Also, the University will not tap into the endowment for these projects, that would be recklessly irresponsible. The University has improved itself unbelievably over the last twenty years, it is remarkable how much better the school is now than in the late '90's. I agree that some things can be done better, and am not opposed to fundraising for stadium renovations, I'm just not sure why people freak out over it.

To answer your question (which I take be be rhetorical), schools like Tennessee, Alabama, Michigan, Penn State, et cetera benefit greatly from stadium upgrades, even if the price tag seems a bit ridiculous to grasp. For instance, as bad as Tennessee has been for the past 10 years, it still averages 100,000 people for every home game. That's a whole lot of money earned by the university simply by packing people into the stadium. Schools like Tennessee will re-invest those profits into the stadium to keep people coming. High attendance equals a lively crowd, which grants your team's ability to contend for primtime television- and that's a lot of money to be earned there, too. Despite Tennessee being so awful, it has been broadcast on CBS on three occasions this season- two of which took place in Neyland Stadium, and the most recent matchup vs. Missouri was an unranked matchup that was still televised nationally. 

I strongly disagree with your assertion that other SEC schools are being irresponsible by funding athletics. That is how these schools make money. Vanderbilt doesn't have to do so because it has a massive endowment relative to its student body. Though it is the smallest SEC institution by enrollment, Vanderbilt's endowment is second in the SEC (Texas A&M is first). To put it simply, Vanderbilt operates very differently than schools like Tennessee, Alabama, and Florida. These universities fund programs that will ultimately generate plenty of revenue. 

Source for SEC schools' football program revenues and profits:

https://www.al.com/sports/index.ssf/2017/08/ranking_the_richest_and_poores.html

Edited by nativetenn
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On 10/30/2018 at 5:21 PM, MLBrumby said:

Looks like that is a crane base. 

image.png

Yes, that is in fact a crane base on the top center. It’s actually a little unique, in that it’s not your typical crane base. It’s much deeper and much more heavily reinforced than normal. The reason is this; Typically, a tower crane will anchor against the structure it is building for lateral bracing. In this case, the tower is too narrow to provide lateral strength for the tower crane building it. Therefore, the crane will be freestanding. At least, that’s what the site superintendent told me. I saw the foundation as the rebar was being tied and viewed the drawings for it. I can say it’s a lot more reinforcement than typical. 

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48 minutes ago, uberkarnie said:

While those athletic departments bring in a lot of money, they don't actually make that much profit. I think Alabama made like $175 million in revenue from athletics last year, but only $15 million in profit. Overall, only 24 athletic departments nationwide made more than they spent in 2017. That profit doesn't go back into the University either. These are minor league sports franchises and while I love to go and cheer for my teams, I think it is clear from the way many of the larger schools treat their student athletes that they have misplaced priorities. Vanderbilt students have an incredible quality of life. The condition of one facility for one sport(granted it is the flagship sport) is not negatively impacting their collegiate experience. It's fun for SEC fans to pile on Vanderbilt; I get it. I just think it's ill-informed. The current model of collegiate athletics is a dinosaur in several ways and its long term viability is being questioned by many. I know there are people at Vanderbilt who value athletics, but also want to move cautiously until they have a better handle on how some future changes might impact the industry.  All this aside, the Chancellor has said that fundraising is a primary consideration in the hiring of the next athletic director and a capital campaign for the department will be undertaken in the future. Anyway, I'm happy with how the University is conducting itself in recent years. Look at this and other recent residential buildings as an example of how the school is holding itself to a higher standard.

My counterpoint to profit: I would argue it helps brand large universities to feature prominent athletic programs.

Aside, I agree with everything else you have said about Vanderbilt. I don't see it as dire for them to upgrade their facilities either.  My response to your comment was in defense of my current university, UT-Knoxville, rather than a jab at what Vanderbilt wants to do with its money. I think the administration at Vanderbilt more than likely knows very well what they are doing and therefore I refrain from commenting on Vandy's athletics.

What is interesting is that Vanderbilt, which has virtually no legitimate home-field advantage, will extend their winning streak against my hapless Vols this Saturday. Oof!

Edited by nativetenn

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1 hour ago, nativetenn said:

My counterpoint to profit: I would argue it helps brand large universities to feature prominent athletic programs.

Aside, I agree with everything else you have said about Vanderbilt. I don't see it as dire for them to upgrade their facilities either.  My response to your comment was in defense of my current university, UT-Knoxville, rather than a jab at what Vanderbilt wants to do with its money. I think the administration at Vanderbilt more than likely knows very well what they are doing and therefore I refrain from commenting on Vandy's athletics.

What is interesting is that Vanderbilt, which has virtually no legitimate home-field advantage, will extend their winning streak against my hapless Vols this Saturday. Oof!

The large universities hardly need the publicity of football and basketball to be relevant to those who wish to attend college. Plus the inevitable athletic scandals (like those which in recent years have rocked Alabama, UT, Baylor, Ohio State, Miami, Penn State, etc) actively harm the image of the schools. For instance, I was well past the age of applying to schools when I realized how good academically Miami is. Their football program, and the conduct of those around it, had led me to believe otherwise when I was in school. And one may say “these are outliers, if schools just behave themselves it would all be good,” but it amplifies the exposure if they don’t, and we all know they won’t. If a math professor is caught giving passing grades to students who did not pass, it creates a departmental scandal - if the defensive coordinator spends 25 years raping children and the head coach covers it up because he doesn’t want to distract from the football program (like Penn State), it creates an international black mark on the school. 

Another issue with these schools is that widening the exposure of the university through athletic success does not necessarily benefit the city/state/etc that the university is located within. If the point of the University of Alabama is to provide quality education to the people of Alabama, is it a good thing that the percentage of the student body who are from Alabama has plummeted since Nick Saban came to Tuscaloosa? And this isn’t unique to Alabama. Even land-grant universities - who have even more reason to benefit their states - have followed this trend. 

My point of this is not that all schools should immediately cancel their athletic programs, and as a huge college football fan that would depress the hell out of me. My point is that deemphasis on athletics is probably a good thing, and Vandy seems to be the only SEC program that treats athletics reasonably. If their donors and boosters want to spend the money to benefit the athletic program, they’re welcome to earmark donations for it. I’m sure Vandy wouldn’t say no to a donor building them a new stadium like Boone Pickens did for Oklahoma State. But I know if I donated a substantial sum to my alma mater and they used it to buy stuff for the athletic program I would be pissed and probably never donate again.  

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9 hours ago, nashvillwill said:

Yes, that is in fact a crane base on the top center. It’s actually a little unique, in that it’s not your typical crane base. It’s much deeper and much more heavily reinforced than normal. The reason is this; Typically, a tower crane will anchor against the structure it is building for lateral bracing. In this case, the tower is too narrow to provide lateral strength for the tower crane building it. Therefore, the crane will be freestanding. At least, that’s what the site superintendent told me. I saw the foundation as the rebar was being tied and viewed the drawings for it. I can say it’s a lot more reinforcement than typical. 

Correct, the highest a tower crane can go without being anchored is 200'. This is a bit of a different type of tower for sure and will be exciting to see it rise.

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9 hours ago, nativetenn said:

What is interesting is that Vanderbilt, which has virtually no legitimate home-field advantage, will extend their winning streak against my hapless Vols this Saturday. Oof!

Don't worry too much.  Vandy knows exactly how to snatch the loss from the jaws of victory! :tw_bawling:

Anchor Down!

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Is there a hard number on the height of the tower?

Even at 20 stories, I would suspect it would top 300' easily in that it is an academic tower with likely greater floor to floor heights plus the gothic ornamentation on top.

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3 minutes ago, timmay143 said:

Don't worry too much.  Vandy knows exactly how to snatch the loss from the jaws of victory! :tw_bawling:

Anchor Down!

Yay for being awful!

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I might add that Vanderbilt has won four national championships in sports plus several runners up and quite a few SEC titles in recent years under David Williams leadership. The football program is 'competitive' and not an easy win anymore. However, women's basketball has been a dumpster fire but maybe turning the corner with it's recent recruiting.

All that in the highest level conference in the nation.

It's a college athletic program to be proud of.

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4 minutes ago, PHofKS said:

I might add that Vanderbilt has won four national championships in sports plus several runners up and quite a few SEC titles in recent years under David Williams leadership. The football program is 'competitive' and not an easy win anymore. However, women's basketball has been a dumpster fire but maybe turning the corner with it's recent recruiting.

All that in the highest level conference in the nation.

It's a college athletic program to be proud of.

Moreso than the facilities, which is rather my point.

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17 minutes ago, smeagolsfree said:

Not a academic tower but a residential tower from what I understand.

That seems correct. Still, I doubt it would have typical 10' floor to floor heights. It would be nice to get a hard number. It won't be a 200 footer.

A rendering I haven't seen before.....

44139343480_0a21e5331c_c.jpg

And some more about the current construction .. from the University website....

Quote

The preliminary phase of the West End Neighborhood project got underway in December 2017 with efforts to bury utility equipment and prepare the site at the corner of 25th Avenue South and West End to begin construction on a striking iconic tower. This as-yet-unnamed residential college will transform the area, where the Tarpley Building for many years housed enterprises as varied as a funeral parlor and the Office of the University Chaplain and Religious Life. Scheduled for completion in August 2020, it will feature two interior courtyards, dance studios, an art gallery, a library, great rooms, dining options, and an apartment for visiting scholars, and will continue the residential colleges tradition of faculty living among undergraduates.

……...

The architectural decisions we’ve made are the result of many detailed conversations and studies about different variations within the Collegiate Gothic language, but with details—from colors of brick to selections of stone—to match and pay tribute to existing buildings, both on and off campus,” says Eric Kopstain, vice chancellor for administration.

The Collegiate Gothic style was first introduced at Vanderbilt when the university decided to move the School of Medicine to the central campus. …….

 

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