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http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/feb/14/ut-to-invest-millions-in-campus-beautification/

 

A multimillion-dollar overhaul of Volunteer Boulevard will be the
marquee project in the University of Tennessee's new plan to shed its
"ugly campus" reputation.



UT will ditch on-street parking, add bike lanes and install lush new
landscaping along the city-owned, horseshoe-shaped campus thoroughfare.



The project is part of an immediate face lift that would also bring
greenery to Presidential Court, landscape the engineering buildings
behind Ayres Hall, add entrance pillars to Fraternity Park and extend
the existing pedestrian mall.



"We don't want to do a gradual improvement, although that would be
great. What we really want to do is a quantum leap that transforms the
view of this campus," said Dave Irvin, associate vice chancellor for
facilities. "That kind of quantum leap would set up a synergy of success
that would begin to feed other projects, begin to help in terms of
recruitment of students, recruitment of faculty, accelerated donations."



Most of the work could be done by the end of 2014, and it will be
funded largely through student facility fees, Irvin said. He did not
have an estimate for the total cost of the projects, citing ongoing
number crunching, but said it would be more than the roughly $6 million
already collected through the fees. UT will likely apply future fees
toward the projects as they're collected.


        


The work falls under a recently developed landscaping arm of UT's
master plan, which will standardize lampposts, pavers, benches and other
exterior features installed on campus. The idea, Irvin said, is to
create unity across the campus in the midst of a construction boom
already under way.



It will also tie together existing points of pride — Ayres Hall,
Johnson Ward Pedestrian Mall and the Haslam Business Building — that are
often overlooked in best-looking surveys. In 2012, UT landed at No. 6
on the Princeton Review's list of "least beautiful campuses."



"There are places around campus that would stack up against any
campus around the country in terms of their beauty and look," Irvin
said. "The problem at UT is not that we don't have great space, it's
that we don't have a language and a linkage between those.



"It's a series of isolated great spaces without a campus linking them together."



Such large-scale streetscaping and landscaping plans have had
dramatic impacts at other campuses, including Clemson, Georgia Tech and
University of Illinois at Chicago, Irvin said. There could be similar
benefits at UT, especially when it comes to recruiting students and
faculty, he said.



Roughly 26,000 people take a tour of the campus each year, which
begins by bus and includes a walking tour through Presidential Court,
the library and the Hill. The tour passes almost all of the targeted
beautification projects, said Laura Stansell, an assistant admissions
director who oversees the Visitors Center.



"I think parents, especially, think about their child going away to
campus and have a picturesque image. They want beautiful buildings with
pillars and rolling green space, so when they see places like
Presidential Court it's a little bit of a downer," Stansell said. "I
don't think students care as much as parents do, but obviously first
impressions make a difference. When you see that bleak part of campus it
can be a turn-off sometimes."



Student Government President Adam Roddy said the projects are an
ideal way to use student fees because students will be the ones living
with the space everyday. Roddy lived in North Carrick Hall his freshman
year, and agreed the bleak concrete slab is not always a place students
want to spend time.



The new plan calls for an infusion of trees, hammock supports, sitting walls and an amphitheater.



"If we can green that up and make it a more enjoyable place, it's
going to make the experience for students living there much more
enjoyable," he said. "It will become a more welcoming place, a more
beautiful place, and a place where people will want to be instead of a
place they walk through from point A to point B."

Edited by bigeasy
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  • 3 weeks later...

It was great being back on campus, especially since so much had been done even in just the past 6 months since I last visited. I did not get to take any pics of the work for the Animal Hospital but it is a great addition and looks to be coming along nicely. The Neyland Drive Streetscape had lots going on, but it really did not have enough to justify taking a picture.

 

Kissam Hall, the new dorm, is going much fast than I expected. The foundation was just being starte on when I last visited in October. This is how it looks now.

DSC_9808a_zps35972a13.jpg

 

Sorry for the blurry picture, but here is the Music building. I was unsure if I liked this at first, but the impact this building has on this area of campus is great.

DSC_9809a_zps7af6faa8.jpg

 

The student union construciton was about a 20 foot deep hole where the parking garage used to be.

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As for Sorority Village, one of the houses has started back on construction. The original construction company went backrupt from what I heard. The house also had many issues with the roof and construction was halted till recently. I would say about 7 houses have been completed, along with the iron fence around the area.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The student union construciton was about a 20 foot deep hole where the parking garage used to be.

DSC_9812a_zps451e68ef.jpg

 

This is weird for me. No money wall!

 

I think this is an important time for UT. Probably the most active building campaign on campus since my parents were in school (when Andy Holt was the president).

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  • 3 weeks later...

The ridiculous dichotomy that exists between Athletics and Academics at UT has always confused me. I've never seen two parties so seemingly opposed to the other's success. Not only is it unhealthy for the university, it causes people (probably not very intelligent people but people the same) to resent the university for "preventing their team from being successful." Obviously, priority should rest on the academic side of things, but when you have a potential cash cow like UT's football program, why not take advantage? Both should be top notch and both could be. 

 

Now that I'm off my soap box, didn't see anything in this thread about the Cumberland Rehab! Admittedly didn't read much through this. Go Vols!

 http://www.cityofknoxville.org/cumberland/meetings/092512_prez.pdf

 

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The ridiculous dichotomy that exists between Athletics and Academics at UT has always confused me. I've never seen two parties so seemingly opposed to the other's success. Not only is it unhealthy for the university, it causes people (probably not very intelligent people but people the same) to resent the university for "preventing their team from being successful." Obviously, priority should rest on the academic side of things, but when you have a potential cash cow like UT's football program, why not take advantage? Both should be top notch and both could be. 

 

Now that I'm off my soap box, didn't see anything in this thread about the Cumberland Rehab! Admittedly didn't read much through this. Go Vols!

 http://www.cityofknoxville.org/cumberland/meetings/092512_prez.pdf

 

It is interesting and definitely felt as a student. I don't know if I would go as far as saying they are opposed to the other's success as much as they are so stuck to their own agendas that the two do feel like they are always at odds with one another. The university sees things one way, and its their way or the highway. The athletic department sees things another way, and it's their way or the highway.

 

The athletic department certainly shouldn't have equal power to the university administration, but the administration shouldn't be micromanaging the athletic department, either. The problem was when I was in school, it wasn't necessarily the athletic department that were the bad guys...remember John Shumaker? John Petersen? Of course, then you have Mike Hamilton.

 

Quality leadership has been the biggest problem, at all levels, at UT. I think it will take someone with dedication and clear vision, as well as the ability to negotiate, mediate, and delegate in order for UT to realize its full potential.

 

============

 

As for the link provided...thanks. It's awesome that they are looking to revamp Cumberland...it needs it. The main problem with traffic has to do with access points. Cumberland is of course the main through street...if you take the UT/Fort Sanders area as a whole, there aren't many alternate routes. Andy Holt/Joe Johnston is the only other access point from the busy west (via Neyland Dr), and it is not a thoroughfare. Lake Loudoun is the only access point from the south (via Neyland Dr, also). 17th St is the only access point in the middle of the north side. 11th, Western, and Clinch help integrate UT with downtown...barely. Grand sort of sneaks out and heads towards the Old City.

 

The other problem is that these access roads do not complement each other. For instance, Joe Johnston does not go all the way through the UT campus. Most traffic dumps on to Volunteer. Lake Loudoun does the same. 17th dumps straight on to Cumberland, while 16th (the continuation of Volunteer) terminates at Grand. So all of this traffic is funneled onto Cumberland at one point or another (unless you're very knowledgeable about the ins and outs). It's not bad for someone living in the area...you can just walk or bike (at your own peril, at times). But for commuters, game day traffic, and nightlife/strip traffic, hospital traffic, its awful. Compounding that are the number of one way streets, and the first few streets on the west side of the grid not lining up. I mean, seriously...that may be the most confusing collection of 1 ways I know of.

 

But off of that...we-working the street will be a good thing. It's too narrow/too many left turns for it to be a true 4 lane street. This would at least simplify that. I imagine it won't be very good for high traffic times...but for regular traffic, it will be wonderful.

 

With that being the most urban area of Knoxville (aside from downtown), I would also like to see some mixed use development on the strip. There are a few decent one story structures, but far too much trashy non-urban development (4 gas stations, 2 non-urban style banks, and a host of bad examples in fast food). It's not that it all has to go RIGHT NOW, but I would like to see some forward thinking as far as creating a nicer true urban environment. That is, by far, the most densely populated area in Knoxville...so they have some good bones to work with.

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  • 5 months later...

Well who knows if anybody will see this, but I was in Knoxville this weekend and decided to go for a bike ride around campus.

 

The new Student Union building is moving along. I guess it will be another year plus before the first part is finished?

DSC_0394a_zps2e9b1153.jpg

 

The Lake Loudon streetscape and the new Pat Summit Plaza

DSC_0368a_zpsc2f555b7.jpg

DSC_0367a_zpsae900018.jpg

 

Fred D. Brown Residence Hall

DormroomsUT_zpse53d6d86.jpg

 

Equine and Farm Animal Hospital. This building had a huge impact on the Ag Campus. It is huge.

DSC_0383a_zpsfd8fba98.jpg

 

Natalie L. Haslam Music Center. I like the design of it now, but like the Architecture building I have a feeling it will age quickly. It has a new construction look, but it also almost looks as if it was designed in the 70's to me

Volmusic_zpsbd728ca5.jpg

 

John D. Tickle Engineering Building. There is a really cool bridge to get into this building left of the picture but I couldn't get a good angle for a picture because of some construction workers.

DSC_0398a_zps44ce12f9.jpg

 

The area around Neyland Stadium is a mess

Neylandstadium_zps83dccc37.jpg

 

The infamous Walmart development near the strip. I would love to find out how much concrete was poured to elevate the building because the structure is absolutely insane from behind.

Walmartknoxville_zpsa4b40650.jpg

 

DSC_0381a_zps6ae6aec0.jpg

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  • 10 months later...

Some more updates to campus. 

 

Around the stadium is the biggest difference due to the Student Union construction. There has been a big change around there. I can't wait to see it completed because it will change the look of that area drastically.

DSC_2746a_zpsdf4c3b32.jpg

 

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New dorm, not sure if it was open yet. I am still amazed that a building this big fit on that lot. It never looked that large when I was a student

DSC_2760a_zps567d3f81.jpg

 

Not a building under construction, just my two favorites on campus :D

DSC_2754a_zps0ffbf795.jpg

DSC_2750a_zps014c8d79.jpg

 

I really wish they would go with turf in Neyland. The technology has changed tons over the years,and the field has looked horrible the past few.

neylandpano_zps3d170278.jpg

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  • 1 year later...
  • 1 year later...

From CBS Sports....

Neyland Stadium to undergo a $340,000,000 renovation.

26439885469_8c039d4b2a_b.jpg

Not sure where the money is coming from.  Regardless, if it is not totally financed with bonds to be repaid exclusively through seat and ticket taxes, I would prefer to see that amount of money go to other uses and reduce my tax burden or improve life for everybody. I do not and never have bought into the absurd notion that any college athletic program is economically self sufficient and  totally independent of tax burdens. 

We need to 'privatize' college athletics and let them sink or swim in the capriciousness of the true market place.

BTW, I have two diplomas from UT. 

 

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1 hour ago, PHofKS said:

From CBS Sports....

Neyland Stadium to undergo a $340,000,000 renovation.

26439885469_8c039d4b2a_b.jpg

Not sure where the money is coming from.  Regardless, if it is not totally financed with bonds to be repaid exclusively through seat and ticket taxes, I would prefer to see that amount of money go to other uses and reduce my tax burden or improve life for everybody. I do not and never have bought into the absurd notion that any college athletic program is economically self sufficient and  totally independent of tax burdens. 

We need to 'privatize' college athletics and let them sink or swim in the capriciousness of the true market place.

BTW, I have two diplomas from UT. 

 

A thousand times yes. I'm so sick and tired of this idea that college athletics is independent of tax burdens. Not when the head coach is the highest paid employee in the state. It does have a give-and-take with the university, but college football, especially SEC football, is such a big-money business the state needs to get out of the practice of providing any sort of support. There needs to be a monetary cutoff for sponsorship, television, and marketing deals, so that when a university's athletic program exceeds that amount it ceases to receive public funds. Not to mention in this case, does Neyland Stadium *need* a $340 million dollar renovation? I would certainly argue that $340 million is sorely needed elsewhere on that campus, either funding facilities that support academic activity or academic programs themselves. It's a university, not a damned sports franchise.

And I'm an '06 alumni, too.

Edited by Nathan_in_DC
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  • 4 months later...

NEW campus construction, March 2018:

 

Second Phase of Student Union, scheduled for completion this summer. Looking East on Cumberland Avenue

20180225_170858.thumb.jpg.8332536aa32422d1962e255bfc17af2c.jpg

New dormitories, looking east on Andy Holt Ave.  These are taking the spot of the late Andy Holt Hall, which was demolished in the Fall of 2015.

20180218_155247.thumb.jpg.295e719814aaa19b85af82082bdd0eb4.jpg

 

Other updates:

- Stokely, Orange, and White halls have been completed since last year (2017).

- N&S Carrick and Reese are still with us, but Humes has been demolished since May 2017.

- "The Bubble" has been taken down, as that area of campus is being slated for renovation.

- The Track & Field venue was renovated in 2017. 

 

 

Looking West on Cumberland Ave, February 2018. Clement is on the right, and the Howard Baker Center is on the left.

20180225_170901.jpg

 

At a crosswalk on the Strip (Cumberland Ave.), Fall 2017. So much nicer than before!

20170908_122115.thumb.jpg.8465c4adf1895f6734fda941560fd2ac.jpg

 

Looking SE toward the Smokies, November 2017. Newly completed Strong Hall is in the foreground.

20171027_160316.thumb.jpg.89eabd3020d8f68c97aa6fcda5259774.jpg

Edited by nativetenn
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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/26/2018 at 8:12 AM, Dale said:

Two questions ...

Did the overhaul of Volunteer Boulevard happen ?

Did the Neyland Stadium expansion get underway ?

To your first question, yes, and what has been completed looks great. I will post pictures of it if you'd like to see it.

To your second, I don't think so. I haven't seen or heard any activity at Neyland yet. If someone else knows otherwise, please correct me.

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14 minutes ago, nativetenn said:

To your first question, yes, and what has been completed looks great. I will post pictures of it if you'd like to see it.

To your second, I don't think so. I haven't seen or heard any activity at Neyland yet. If someone else knows otherwise, please correct me.

Thanks for the update! And yes, interested in seeing your pics.

Edited by Dale
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On 5/26/2018 at 8:12 AM, Dale said:

Two questions ...

Did the overhaul of Volunteer Boulevard happen ?

Did the Neyland Stadium expansion get underway ?

To the second question, see the last paragraph of this report... https://www.wbir.com/article/news/local/construction-to-start-this-summer-on-ut-knoxvilles-new-engineering-building/51-540529373

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