Landscape Enhancement Plan is About to Take Root
Improvements Expected to be Completed in Late 2009;
Acclaimed Architects Peter Walker and Partners Leading Effort
Nov. 19, 2008
A major initiative aimed at campus enhancement officially gets under way Thursday, Nov. 20, at a 2 p.m. groundbreaking ceremony.
With a goal of making campus more welcoming and user-friendly for students, faculty, staff and visitors, the project was made possible by a lead gift from long-time UT Dallas supporter Mrs. Margaret McDermott.
“We are grateful to Mrs. McDermott for this significant gift that will improve the campus to reflect the quality of the people and programs already here,” said UT Dallas President Dr. David E. Daniel.
The yearlong project is expected to be carried out in four phases and completed by late fall 2009. An initial phase of the effort will involve the overhaul of the perimeter and entrance roads to campus, as well as the central plaza, where the major north-south and east-west pedestrian routes meet.
Other phases of the project include:
- The planting of 5,000 to 6,000 native trees, particularly at the main entrance and exterior portions of campus.
- A new roundabout drive that will be installed near the intersections of University Parkway and Drive A.
- A small amphitheater and stage constructed near the existing steps in front of the Student Union. The steps will be covered with weather-resistant wood that will double as seating.
- A greenery-lined waterway that will run from the School of Management Building to the Eugene McDermott Library.
Acclaimed landscape architectural firm Peter Walker and Partners (PWP) designed the project. Founded in 1983, PWP works on a variety of projects, including the urban design and planning of landscapes that range in size from parks and university campuses to corporate headquarters, plazas and private gardens. PWP also has joined with renowned architects to create significant projects, such as the gardens of the Nasher Foundation Sculpture Center in Dallas.
In 2000, Mrs. McDermott instigated the creation of the prestigious Eugene McDermott Scholars Program in honor of her late husband. Eugene McDermott, along with the late Cecil Green and Erik Jonsson, founded Texas Instruments and, later, the research institution that in 1969 became UT Dallas.
The campus enhancement project is one of several improvements currently under way at the University. Also under construction are new residence and dining halls, the Math, Science and Engineering Teaching-Learning Center, and renovations at Founders Hall, one of the University’s original buildings.
Open to all students, faculty, staff and the general public, the campus enhancement groundbreaking will take place adjacent to the McDermott Library, on the south end of the campus mall. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony.