Building Projects Reach Milestone and Keep Going
Completion of Visitor Center and Bookstore Paves Way for ATEC Construction
Sep. 13, 2011
Students, faculty and staff returning for the fall semester have been hearing a different kind of “whoosh” coming from the new Visitor Center and University Bookstore (VCB).
The structure’s main entrance features an open-air glass and steel rotunda, complete with giant fan to mitigate extremes in Texas weather.
Above: A glass and steel rotunda forms the main entrance to the new Visitor Center and University Bookstore. Below: To keep things cool in hot Texas summers, the entrance is cooled by a 10-foot ceiling fan.
The fan’s 10-foot blades gently move the air overhead to cool guests in the current 100-degree temperatures.
The building’s glass walls mirror design of the other new structures lining the campus mall. Upon entry, guests are met with diverse vistas: An open, multi-purpose space serves as an event venue, while a bank of retail space clad in the University’s signature orange and green offers goods ranging from mini-Temocs to smoothies.
The 33,000-square-foot-building was built in eight months.
“The University begins the fall semester with a bright and beautiful gateway facility,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, senior vice president for Business Affairs. “Its prime location provides numerous opportunities for our campus community to utilize the space.”
“The Bookstore, Technology Store, Copy Center and the Coffee Shop were carefully selected to ‘live’ at the VCB because they continue in the vein of the Student Services Building, offering a one-stop shop for students, faculty, staff and visitors,” said Carrie Chutes, manager of auxiliary services in Procurement Management.
The building houses the Technology Store (above), Bookstore, Copy Center and a coffee shop.
The Visitor Center, operated by Enrollment Management, serves as a point of entry where guests may obtain parking passes and meet University staff for tours. The center also is outfitted with two dedicated rooms for recruiting presentations.
“The Visitor Center fills an institutional need we’ve had for some time – to have dedicated space in which we can interact with our guests,” said Rick Dempsey, the associate vice president for Business Affairs – Facilities Management .
The VCB also houses a multipurpose recreation space for dance and exercise classes, managed by staff in the adjoining Activity Center. The facility’s versatile open space will serve a multitude of purposes, ranging from informal study sessions to overflow room during commencement.
The 33,000 square-foot-building was built in eight months.
Several factors led to the decision to build the VCB, Dempsey said.
“The University Bookstore certainly needed more space, and it’s better positioned in its new location,” he said. “The Visitor Center also benefits from being at the University’s formal entryway. The result was a distinctive building that is instantly noticeable while still complementing its neighboring structures.
“The new aesthetic of the campus mall also called for a multi-story, urban look, which we’re closer to achieving with the demolition of the old facility.”
Tear-down of the former bookstore building has been under way. Once complete, work will begin on the new four-story Arts and Technology Complex in its former location. A dual groundbreaking ceremony for the ATEC Complex and dedication for the VCB is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28.
The 155,000-square-foot ATEC building is slated for completion in 2013.
Work Under Way on ATEC Building
and Campus' Third Residence Hall
Completion of the new Visitor Center and Bookstore has cleared the way for one of the University’s next major construction projects: a new home for the University’s Arts and Technology program.
That project, designed as a showcase for the visual arts and a technology hub for the ATEC program, joins the third residence hall as the two highest-profile building projects in process on the UT Dallas campus.
The 155,000-square-foot ATEC facility will house programs in visual arts, emerging media technology and multimedia communications, as well as a 1,200-seat auditorium. The $60 million building is slated for completion in 2013.
The building will rise from the site of the previous bookstore. Tear-down of the former bookstore building has been under way.
A dual groundbreaking ceremony for the ATEC complex and dedication for the new Visitor Center and University Bookstore is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 28.
Farther north on campus, work began on the University’s third residence hall almost as soon as the second one opened for business on Aug. 16.
The project, a near mirror-image of the first two facilities, is expected to be complete in summer 2012.
“This latest fast-track project is a part of our efforts to keep pace with University growth,” said Rick Dempsey, associate vice president of Business Affairs – Facilities Management.
The new four-story building’s entry will feature a 1,800-square-foot, glass-enclosed rotunda, now a signature of halls on the UT Dallas campus.
The first floor will include a lounge and recreation area with a kitchen, laundry room, mailroom, study room, classroom, restrooms and offices. The second floor is to include additional study areas and a media room that can function as a classroom if needed.
New to the third residence hall will be a permanent satellite space for the Gateways to Engagement, Master and Success (GEMS) program. A study room with capacity for 10-15 residents to gather for study is to be located on the fourth floor, along with a smaller office designed for one-on-one appointments and success coaching sessions.
“Integrating academic support services into residential space where we will have more than 1,000 freshmen living makes perfect sense,” Sheila Pineres, dean of undergraduate education who oversees the GEMS program, said. “We’re changing the way we provide academic support – whether that means locating our services in more convenient places to offering tutoring later at night – to foster student success.”
The building will be accessible by key card, as will living areas on each floor and the individual suites. Resident wings include study rooms, lounges, music practice rooms, instrument storage space, 128 multiple-person student suites, 16 single-person living quarters for Peer Advisors, and two apartments for director’s quarters.
The estimated cost of the project is $31 million. The design is being managed by the engineering and architectural firm Jacobs Engineering Group Inc.