New Student Housing, Dining Facilities
Planned at UT Dallas

‘Living-Learning’ Center Would Group
Students with Similar Majors, Interests

March 5, 2007

Students and administrators at The University of Texas at Dallas have begun planning a freshman “living-learning” residence hall and a stand-alone food services facility, both of which are anticipated to be opened during the next 18-24 months. When completed, the housing is expected to provide accommodations and parking for approximately 400 students.

According to university officials, students will be involved in all aspects of the project, from design concept to construction.

“Student input and participation are key to making this project a success — they, after all, will be the ones living in the new center, and it is important to have their feedback throughout the planning and building process,” said Darrelene Rachavong, vice president for student affairs at UT Dallas. “Our goal is for lodging to enhance and enrich the college careers of UT Dallas students, and we believe this new housing choice will offer community living unlike anything we’ve done in the past.”

The new living-learning center, which will group together students with similar interests and majors, likely will be situated on university-owned property on Rutford Avenue.

Exact details are still being discussed, but preliminary plans suggest the multi-story structure will accommodate a mix of three-bedroom, single-bath suites and one-bedroom, one-bath efficiencies for resident assistants. Occupants are expected to be mostly freshmen, and it is anticipated that the furnished suites will include a shared entry, living area, shower, toilet and vanity with three sinks. Each suite entry will be equipped with key card access. The shared living areas are expected to offer a minimum of one window, phone, cable, data and convenience electrical receptacles and a fixed counter in an alcove with its own phone, cable, data and convenience electrical receptacles.

Preliminary specifications also call for private sleeping rooms for each individual occupant. Those rooms would have an exterior window, built-in dresser and a closet.

Indoor community and outdoor recreation amenities also are planned. These may include a game room pavilion with a lounge, a full accessory kitchen and an outdoor basketball/volleyball court. The project is expected to include parking to accommodate full occupancy.

“Based on outside studies, we know more students would live on campus if the university had additional options and space for them, so this new facility is a very exciting development in terms of the growth of UT Dallas,” said Matthew Grief, director of housing operations. “The center will allow students additional opportunities to interact with and learn from each other, and it also will provide an alternative, transitional living option for younger students leaving home for the first time.”

A separate, approximately 600-seat dining facility, which will likely be located at a different, more central location on campus, also will be constructed. That building is expected to include provision for outdoor seating, a loading dock and limited parking and would offer additional dining options. Currently, student dining is located in the UT Dallas Student Union. That facility is expected to remain open after the new dining hall is completed.

UT Dallas currently offers apartments, which are fully equipped with kitchens, living areas and private bedrooms and bathrooms.

It is anticipated that the total cost of the project will be approximately $37 million. The design portion of the project has been officially awarded to the Fort Worth and Dallas offices of the engineering and architectural firm Carter & Burgess, Inc.

About UT Dallas

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls more than 14,500 students.  The school’s freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores.  The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs.  For additional information about UT Dallas, please visit the university’s website at

Contact Jenni Huffenberger, UT Dallas, (972) 883-4431, [email protected]

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May 25, 2018