Building Begins on a Foundation of Student Pride
UT System Leaders Help Celebrate Start of Service Facility's Construction
May 1, 2009
Despite the threat of rain, students, staff, faculty, as well as UT System and local community dignitaries, were on hand yesterday to usher in the start of construction on the University’s latest project — a four-story, 74,000-square-foot building dedicated entirely to serving the needs of UT Dallas students.
The $27 million building will hold virtually all of the administrative departments that students will visit during the course of their relationship with the University.
During the 11 a.m. ceremony, UT System Regent Printice Gary and Executive Vice Chancellor David Prior congratulated students for their initiative and drive in selling the idea and securing funding for the new Student Services Building.
The Student Services Building
Offices and departments located in the building will include:
•The Bursar’s Office and Financial Aid
“I applaud the students of UT Dallas for recognizing and bringing to the attention of your University administrators, community leaders and the UT System, the need for a dedicated student services building,” Gary said. “The initiative I see here is the sort of resourcefulness I look for in the business world and from my colleagues. Such forward-thinking tells me that the students of UT Dallas are indeed the business and community leaders of tomorrow.”
Prior offered similar praise.
“UT Dallas has experienced explosive growth with poise and thoughtfulness, and a marked interest in the well being of its students,” Prior commented. “Administrators here have worked hand-in-hand with the students, and this building is no exception.”
Regent Gary and Executive Vice Chancellor Prior were accompanied on stage by:
- UT Dallas President David E. Daniel.
- Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Darrelene Rachavong.
- Richardson Mayor Steve Mitchell.
- Steven Rosson, Student Government president.
- Grace Bielawski, Student Government vice president.
Rosson and Bielawski led the ceremony and reminded attendees of the building's significance to students.
“This building is our legacy,” Rosson said. “We lobbied to get this facility built, and we collectively agreed to add a fee to our tuition to help expedite the process. That’s something we can be proud of, whether we come back to visit the building after it’s complete, or we get to experience it for ourselves when it’s finished next year.”
Daniel said he hoped the new building would help create a more efficient campus experience for students.
“UT Dallas exists to prepare students for a lifetime of contribution, leadership and personal fulfillment,” he remarked. “While this building alone won’t fulfill that mission, it’s my hope that it simplifies campus life so that students can spend their time where it counts — in class and in the labs, at the library and with friends.”
For her part, Rachavong said that despite being a relatively young University, UT Dallas students exhibit much pride in their school, as demonstrated by their vision to bring the Student Services Building concept to campus.
“Without a doubt, UT Dallas students have a vision — even beyond their time here,” Rachavong said. “We’re proud of our great rankings, distinguished scholarship recipients and athletic prowess. But to me, what the addition of this building really says is that we’re home to a student body that has some serious Comet pride.”
In closing, Richardson Mayor Steve Mitchell acknowledged the special relationship between the city of Richardson and UT Dallas.
“One of the most important things the city of Richardson can do is to promote this University. UT Dallas is a jewel,” Mitchell said.
The Student Services Building is expected to be complete by fall 2010.
Above: Students line up to turn the first dirt for the UT Dallas Students Services Building.
At right: UT System Regent Printice Gary praised students' initiative in getting the building approved.
UT Dallas President David E. Daniel (right) shares a word with UT System Executive Vice Chancellor David Prior at the groundbreaking ceremony.