Campus construction greets UT students

5:50 PM, Aug 16, 2010   |    comments
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It's welcome week at the University of Tennessee, with classes starting on Wednesday. While new students are learning their way around campus, they're also learning about some serious changes to the school's landscape.

For freshmen David Gwinn and Logan Honeycutt, campus looks a lot different than when they visited as high school seniors.

"Its just really cool how everything's changed from construction one day to something else the next," Gwinn said.

"I like how they're building up and expanding the campus instead of just keeping everything the way it is and making things more improved and better to keep up with the new times and the new technology," Honeycutt said.

Some of the most notable changes are at Neyland Stadium. Crews are finished with the "Tennessee Terrace", which features 1800 seats on the third level, and they are putting the final touches on the new amphitheater and entrance

"The stadium itself is complete. The Gate 21 Plaza and the amphitheater is the segments of the project that is still close to completion, but it we'll be done before the first game," said Jeff Maples, Senior Associate Vice Chancellor for Finance and Administration.

Students looking to paint the rock in their first week back will be greeted by changes as well. Crews are demolishing the old music building. The university plans to open a $40 million state-of-the-art facility by 2013.

Across the street, progress continues on the nearly $20 million student health clinic, slated to open summer 2011.

"I think it is exciting to see the university still trying to enhance what we think is a positive experience for our students," Maples said.

Ayers Hall, the school's first LEED certified building, will re-open for classes in the spring semester. The new engineering building is expected to be completed next summer.

Gwinn and Honeycutt are looking forward to enjoying the results of the renovations over the next four years.

"I'm looking forward to see all of it come out and be finished. I'm just looking forward to it," Gwinn said.

The final piece of the additions to the stadium will be a statue of General Neyland. It will be dedicated during this year's homecoming game against Ole Miss.

Phillip Fulmer Way is on track to be opened Monday August 30th.

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