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Construction projects support access, learning and growth

Business Leadership Building with Hurley Administration Building, rightAdditional parking, UNT's Apogee Stadium and the Business Leadership Building, above, are some of the new amenities on campus that returning students and faculty are enjoying.

The 2011-12 academic year marks the completion of some projects and the start of news ones that will improve the academic and workplace environment for faculty, staff and students.

Faculty began moving into the 180,000-square-foot Business Leadership Building in August. Dedication activities are scheduled Sept. 22.

"It's a beauty," says Charles Jackson, acting senior associate vice president for administration, who oversees Facilities and Construction. While the building will primarily house the College of Business, some other majors also will hold classes in the new building, he says.

The former business building has been renamed Sage Hall and is being redesigned as a one-stop spot for student support services such as tutoring and testing services. The renovated building also will house premier academic programs such as Honors College and the Texas Academy of Mathematics and Science.

Located adjacent to the Business Leadership Building, the Highland Street parking garage will serve faculty, staff, students and visitors with 953 spaces. The garage opend Aug. 22.

Parking and Transportation Services offices, formerly located in the Sullivant Public Safety Center with UNT Police, are now located in the parking garage with an entrance on Avenue A.

An additional 15,000 square-feet of lab and research space has been finished in the Life Sciences Complex, which opened in fall 2010. The majority of the space will be used for research, Jackson says.

The former Information Science Building, home to the recently renovated Science and Technology Library, was renamed Sycamore Hall.

UNT's Apogee Stadium, with about 30,000 seats, was filled with fans for the first home game, the Mean Green versus the University of Houston, Sept. 10. Above, the Green Brigade Marching Band entertained the third largest crowd in UNT history. Houston outlasted UNT, 48-23.

Other projects  include:

  • Additional lighting for safety and security
  • Renovation of the lab kitchen in Chilton Hall for the School of Merchandising and Hospitality Management, which is being partially funded by Marriott
  • Addition of lactation rooms to accommodate nursing mothers in five heavily trafficked buildings: Discovery Park, Gateway, Willis Library, General Academic Building and University Union
  • Renovation of the third floor of Curry Hall for College of Visual Arts and Design programs

UNT also recently completed a sidewalk improvement project on Avenue C and the Chemistry Building that added curb ramps for wheelchairs, Jackson says. The project was in conjunction with the city of Denton.

Construction is also continuing around campus - most recently along Mulberry Street - to replace existing chilled water lines underground that provide cooling to buildings around campus, Jackson added. The UNT SMART energy-saving project is part of a contract with Schneider Electric.  

Students and faculty also will notice construction at Discovery Park, Jackson says. New incubator space is being built at the research park to help attract new business startups, and construction is underway on the Net Zero Energy Research Laboratory that will serve as a research hub for students and faculty to get firsthand experiences with sustainable technologies.

A greenhouse complex also is planned to serve biological science faculty and students.

Jackson says the new and completed the projects will enhance the UNT experience for students and faculty. "Our aim is to first make the learning environment as rich as possible for students and faculty by improving classrooms and facilities," he said. "Then it's to position ourselves for the growth we're expecting over the next few years." – Adrienne Nettles, University Relations, Communications and Marketing

(Photo by Jonathan Reynolds)

Posted on: Wed 14 September 2011

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