Just as Chattanooga invested in its riverfront to attract business, residents, and tourists from around the world, improvements at its metropolitan university have created a showcase campus.
Strong academics and an improved infrastructure attract record numbers of students to UTC. To serve them, some of the finest new apartment-style student housing in the South was added to UTC’s South Campus, the University Center was transformed and the Engineering, Computer Science and Math Building opened. A new pool was added to the student wellness center.
And the building goes on.
The groundwork for UTC’s current Master Plan is based upon projected enrollment of 13,000 students in five years and 15,000 in ten years.
“To achieve this growth, facilities must provide support for new classroom facilities, lab and research facilities—an instructional environment rich with new technology,” said Dr. Richard Brown, Executive Vice Chancellor for Finance, Operations, and Information Technology. “We are preserving our arboretum designation, addressing parking, recreation—a variety of areas, all with consideration for our partnerships as we strengthen our connections with the city of Chattanooga.”
For the last year, students have walked around a construction zone in the center of campus. “Cardiac Hill” now features a terraced series of sloped sidewalks and steps from Heritage Plaza to Oak Street, an accessible walkway from Vine to Oak, and a new Student Park, nestled close to the Crossroads dining facility. An open-air structure created with a nod to the past, Chamberlain Pavilion is a new architectural centerpiece.
At the corner of McCallie and Houston, exterior improvements for the Metro Building will create another attractive entrance to campus. Inside are new digs for the Department of Health and Human Performance, and Nursing.
The academic and intellectual center of campus is under construction at Oak and Vine Streets, where the new library and a variety of student services will be housed. Soaring glass windows will offer plenty of natural light. Enormous underground cisterns are located beneath the Chamberlain entrance plaza. They capture rainwater and condensate from mechanical systems, which will feed Chamberlain Field. Low-flow toilets and faucets and recycling centers on each floor are additional efforts toward gaining LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification.
Lupton Library will not sit idle. It will be retro-fitted to accommodate much-needed classrooms.
In the future, a health sciences building will bring together students planning careers in the health professions. Planners envision a lab science building for biology and environmental science where research is conducted.
Brown believes there’s great promise for growth in the development of “UTC North,” the University’s 300-acre tract of land at Enterprise South.
Closer to campus, the University is seeking approval in a partnership with the state of Tennessee to acquire two state office buildings on McCallie Avenue.
“Acquisition of these buildings would greatly enhance our ability to continue with the Master Plan,” Brown said.