The University of Texas at Austin is in a constant state of expansion and modernization. From the expansion of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium, increasing capacity to 90,000, to construction of the new Biomedical Engineering Building, which will house labs and research space, the university is growing and continuing to improve its facilities improving.
The following is an update on some of the projects going on around the university:
Biomedical Engineering Building
Construction of the new Biomedical Engineering Building on West Dean Keeton Street between University Avenue and Wichita Street is on track to be completed ahead of schedule. It will house natural science teaching labs, pharmacy research space and offices, and will have a bridge to the Neural Molecular Science Building on the east side. Completion date: summer 2008.
Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium Expansion
Expansion of the stadium at the north end zone will increase seating capacity to 90,000 seats with suites and a new club. The stadium will include concessions, a new athletic academic area, student food court area, student ticket office and future gym areas, as well as the Stark Center for Physical Culture and Sports. The stadium is now open for the 2007 football season and the project is on schedule, which required working around the clock to make up for lost time due to the 2007 summer rains.
Completion date: fall 2008.
Edgar A. Smith Building
Construction of the Edgar A. Smith Building continues. As the second phase of the Blanton Museum of Art building project, the Smith building will house the museum cafe, store, classrooms, an auditorium and museum offices. With the art museum, the Smith building will form a gateway around the Faulkner Plaza.
Completion date: late spring 2008.
ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center
Under construction at Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and South University Avenue is a world-class residential learning environment named in recognition of a $25 million commitment from ATandT to the university. The facility will be used for conferences, seminars and continuing executive education programs. Construction is on schedule for classrooms, amphitheater, break-out rooms, conference rooms and an 800-seat ballroom to complement 300 guest rooms and three restaurants.
Completion date: August 2008.
LBJ Plaza Renovation/Lady Bird Johnson Center
Extensive renovations to the plaza include replacing deteriorated paving and replacing three leaking fountains with wildflower gardens. The gardens will be a tribute to Lady Bird Johnson, for whom the plaza is being renamed. Additional construction includes remodeling an auditorium, opening up a concourse and installing two new classrooms. Completion date: 2009.
Littlefield Fountain Restoration
The recently completed first phase of restoration of the Littlefield Fountain involved repairing leaks in the masonry basin, installing a new liner, repairing and power-washing the stonework around the fountain, and cleaning and applying a protective coating to the statues. During the second phase the original piping to the fountain dating back to 1930-32 will be replaced, as will the pump. Work will take place below ground level inside the pump room vault. Improvements will be made to the landscaping and sprinkler system around the fountain, and workers will revegetate the planters around the basins and clean or replace the masonry balusters.
Completion date: February 2008.
Performing Arts Center
In addition to undergoing substantial fire and life safety systems upgrades, the Performing Arts Center will have its lobby expanded and modernized for the patrons of the Bass Concert Hall, which first opened its doors in 1981. The interior of Bass Concert Hall will gain improved acoustics and updated decor to better accommodate visitors and performers.
Completion date: January 2009.
The following two projects were recently completed at the university:
Perry Castaneda Library Student Learning Commons
The new space in the Perry-Castaneda Library (PCL) opened at the end of August, marking completion of the first significant renovation to the PCL since the building’s dedication in 1977. With a $500,000 gift from the University Federal Credit Union, the former periodicals room was redesigned into a modern, comfortable community study area in which the academic resources were maintained in the room. Infrastructure and technology upgrades to the space were incorporated as part of the overall plan. Completion date: August 2007.
Union Building Lounge/Starbuck’s Coffee Shop
The Texas Union has another spot this fall for students, faculty and staff to study, chat or relax. The university constructed a lounge in the former location of a Java City shop and oversaw installation of an adjoining Starbuck’s in the space previously occupied by a campus convenience store. That store is now on the north side of the building. Completion date: September 2007.