Razings, Construction Continue At The University Of Tennessee

Tuesday, June 17, 2014 - by John Shearer

While Mid-June may reveal a quieter University of Tennessee at Knoxville campus in terms of student activity, it remains quite busy – and noisy – with building and demolition projects continuing in full swing.

More than half of the historic Stokely Athletics Center has been razed, while the adjacent Gibbs Hall athletic dorm is completely gone. A new dorm, a practice field extension and a parking deck are scheduled for the site.

A few of the old wooden seats in the west upper deck of Stokely are about all that remain recognizable from the once hallowed basketball, indoor track, volleyball and concert facility. Everyone from Ernie – as in Vol basketball player Ernie Grunfeld – to Elvis – as in singer Elvis Presley -- drew cheers in the facility, which now looks more like an open airport hangar.

A few hundred yards across Cumberland Avenue, meanwhile, little remains of the historic Sophronia Strong dormitory for women, other than a small central section. A new Strong Hall science facility will occupy the land.

The new Fred Brown dormitory is nearing completion back near Presidential Court, while the new first phase of the UT Student Union next to the old University Center near the Hill is beginning to take shape.

Construction has also begun on a new parking deck just south of the Student Union and in front of Neyland Stadium. A surface parking lot has sat at the site in recent years.

Jcshearer2@comcast.net


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