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Alabadrock

University of Alabama News

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A thread for the the State of Alabama's, currently, largest school. Academics improvements and changes, construction notices and announcements, and development opporitunities should be posted here.

I'll start off with a few pictures of construction on, or bordering, campus.

Construction site of the future Ridgecrest South dorms. At the intersection of Campus Drive and Marrs Spring Road.

TuscaloosaApril08154.jpg

TuscaloosaApril08156.jpg

TuscaloosaApril08158.jpg

The completed transit hub. Parking deck/bus terminal for the CrimsonRide. Along Hackberry and Campus Drive.

TuscaloosaApril08180.jpg

Construction on Phase 2 of Shelby Hall.

TuscaloosaApril08175.jpg

Can't recall the name of this condo project. But, it's located between Jack Warner Parkway and the river. On the edge of downtown next to the riverwalk and Army Corps of Engineers.

TuscaloosaApril08066.jpg

TuscaloosaApril08063.jpg

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Terry Saban raising money for libraries

Coach Nick Saban's wifek, Alabama students, faculty, and student-athletes including the mens basketball team will be collecting donations at the gates of Bryant-Denny Stadium, and in the "Walk of Champions" area, before after and during the Tide's annual A-day game.

EDIT: I'm thinking this will be very sucessful. Weeks before the school year, and football season, even started, this woman was getting involved on campus. I've met her, and she has a wonderful and very energetic personality. She definitely knows how to do this stuff.

It's nice to see that they're putting emphasis on raising money for more than just sports. After all, the students are the entire reason there is a university in Tuscaloosa.

Link: Terry Saban raising money for campus libraries

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Thanks for the updates, Alabadrock. I didn't know that Shelby Hall was being expanded. Are freshmen required to live on campus now? Can freshmen register cars on campus? Is the CrimsonRide program used by a lot of students?

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Thanks for the updates, Alabadrock. I didn't know that Shelby Hall was being expanded. Are freshmen required to live on campus now? Can freshmen register cars on campus? Is the CrimsonRide program used by a lot of students?

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Thanks for the photos & updates.

According to a department head I talked to around the start of the year, the school hopes to hit its stated

2010 enrollment goal of 28,000 in Fall 2009.

UA's new building for the nursing school is supposed to begin construction this fall.

I think the Shelby deal was originally supposed to be 4 buildings (and would gobble up

some more of the Bryce property, if/when that deal goes through), but I'm very much out of the loop

these days and such plans seem to change from year to year.

Oddly enough, the actual offices in Shelby Hall are smaller than in some of the "older, inferior" buildings

in that part of campus.

Re: Ridgecrest dorm area - There's still talk long-term of eventually demolishing Paty Hall, and rerouting Campus

Drive through there to connect to the new road being built north of Ridgecrest.

Also supposedly under consideration is closing off the small section of road roughly between the Gorgas Library

and Clark/Manly Halls for a plaza area, and they haven't completely ruled out the possibility the next few years

of closing the streets on both sides of the quad that are currently used just for bus routes.

Re: "Can't recall the name of this condo project. But, it's located between Jack Warner Parkway and the river."

That's the office complex for Bank of Tuscaloosa/JMF Accountants/Hunt Oil/Rosen law firm.

Another project close to campus is the $13-million renovation of Clara Verner Tower (old people housing):

http://www.amason-associates.com/com_clareverner.html

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Thanks for the photos & updates.

According to a department head I talked to around the start of the year, the school hopes to hit its stated

2010 enrollment goal of 28,000 in Fall 2009.

UA's new building for the nursing school is supposed to begin construction this fall.

I think the Shelby deal was originally supposed to be 4 buildings (and would gobble up

some more of the Bryce property, if/when that deal goes through), but I'm very much out of the loop

these days and such plans seem to change from year to year.

Oddly enough, the actual offices in Shelby Hall are smaller than in some of the "older, inferior" buildings

in that part of campus.

Re: Ridgecrest dorm area - There's still talk long-term of eventually demolishing Paty Hall, and rerouting Campus

Drive through there to connect to the new road being built north of Ridgecrest.

Also supposedly under consideration is closing off the small section of road roughly between the Gorgas Library

and Clark/Manly Halls for a plaza area, and they haven't completely ruled out the possibility the next few years

of closing the streets on both sides of the quad that are currently used just for bus routes.

Re: "Can't recall the name of this condo project. But, it's located between Jack Warner Parkway and the river."

That's the office complex for Bank of Tuscaloosa/JMF Accountants/Hunt Oil/Rosen law firm.

Another project close to campus is the $13-million renovation of Clara Verner Tower (old people housing):

http://www.amason-associates.com/com_clareverner.html

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Here're some pictures of two projects being built on The Strip:

TuscaloosaApril08146.jpg

TuscaloosaApril08144.jpg

I'm hoping to make it over to the construction site of "The Chimes" and take a few pictures soon.

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Also, I heard from someone close to the decision making that the school is also looking to place some kind of special thing between Denny Chimes and Gorgas. Right now, ideas are a reflecting pool or a series of fountains. I think either of those would be a fantastic idea. Though, the reflecting pool might become quite trashy and polluted during football season.

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Fountains might not be a good idea on the quad either. There used to be a fountain in front of Rose Administration bldg., but kids were constantly putting laundry detergent in it and the university eventually filled it in. There was another one in front of Bryant Hall that was demolished as well. Those were fountains with pools, though, so maybe fountains without pools would work.

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^ Didn't know there were ever fountains behind the library. When is that project supposed to be done?

I dug around on the university website and found the 2007 Campus Master Plan (.pdf). I'm really digging the pedestrian-oriented development that it calls for.

UAmasterplan.jpg

Are these new academic buildings part of the Shelby Hall expansion or future development nearby?

UA_new1.jpg

UA_new2.jpg

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^^^^ Judging by the architecture, I'd say those renderings are of the Shelby Hall complex.

Yea, I'm liking the pedestrian friendly construction too. The Unversity really wants to remove all of the inner campus parking lots and place them on the perimeter. Kinda impossible to do, but it's still nice to dream I guess.

I'm not quite sure when the Gorgas greenspace is supposed to be finished. I just remember reading in the CW one morning all the stuff they had planned for construction this summer. For all we know, they might not build it all. But I hope they do. That blacktop behind the library is just so ugly when compared to the greenspace right next to it.

EDIT: By looking at the buildout map, it looks like they do intend remove all of the parking lots. A lot of construction in the Colonial Area looks to take the place of the current parking lot that sits along Bryant Drive. Also, it looks like the parking lot at the center of the engineer complex is going to be taken by a new building in one half and the other half being turned into parkspace. And I have to say that I LOVE what they plan to do around Shelby Hall, i think it's gonna be amazin!

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It's interesting to consider the potential for future expansion by expanding the campus boundaries, also.

In the last couple years, the university made some minor acquisitions in nearby commercial areas (a building

on the Strip, the building on Bryant Drive with The Corner, etc), but looking at that 2007 master plan,

what other areas could/should the university

consider for expansion ?

Bryce certainly is the most conspicuous block of land, especially considering that pretty much all of campus east

of Hackberry was originally part of Bryce, too.

The university already has some big chunks of land for outlying operations ($5 million plus planned for improvements

at the 300-acre Moundville Archaelogical Park, and unknown future for the 240-acre parcel in the eastern

part of town that includes the arboretum and the closed Pritchett golf course).

I'd also like to see the main campus eventually expand its presence along 15th Street. There are some retail developments

pretty much right across the train tracks from the basketball and track facilities, such as the old West Building Materials

(now Dollar General), the closed Barnhill restaurant, a car dealership, etc. It would be great if the university could gobble

up some of this underdeveloped, but extremely visible space for a well-defined southern entrance

to campus. Any student housing there would be so convenient to things like Midtown, plus any redevelopment

could include retail along the lines of the university's "Town Center" development.

What about farther east than Bryce ? Maybe that's too much of a stretch ? Perhaps for a university research park

or additional recreational fields and sports facilities, or other use that requires a lot of land,

but isn't part of every day student life ? There are some pretty big blocks of land to consider (Tuscaloosa Middle School

land is probably worth more than the school facility on the land, Partlow is in a similar situation as Bryce,

then there's all those hundreds or more acres of Westervelt land along the river toward Holt).

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Ground was broken earlier this month for the new three-story, 60,000 sq ft, $20 million College of Nursing building on University Blvd near DCH. The building is expected to be completed by fall 2010. According to a University press release, enrollment in the Capstone College of Nursing has increased 213 percent since 2000, and the new building provides an additional 43,000 sq ft of space.

New UA Capstone College of Nursing

nursing_300.jpg

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Today the University of Alabama board of trustees will consider a proposal to expand Bryant-Denny stadium by 9,000 seats to a capacity of over 101,000. Apparently ticket demand is off the charts right now.

UA trustees to mull stadium expansion

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The board of trustees approved the $80.6 million stadium expansion. The project includes a new 8,500-seat upper deck, an upper concourse with concessions and restrooms, 34 skyboxes, two expanded skyboxes, a 1,700-seat capacity in the South Zone club and a 1,500-seat capacity in the Stadium Club.

$80.6M budget approved for stadium expansion

B-D_expansion.jpg

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