University Construction, Transportation Changes on Deck for Winter Break, Spring Semester

  • Progress continues on the new 200,000-square-foot Engineering Building, also known as Engineering West. The building, which will primarily house the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018.

After the completion of the Davidson-Gundy Alumni Center, Canyon Creek Heights Apartments and a Starbucks on campus in the fall semester, several construction and maintenance projects will continue through winter break and into the new year at The University of Texas at Dallas.

“The break provides us a chance to service and maintain the robust infrastructure we have created while the campus is somewhat quiet,” said Dr. Calvin Jamison, vice president for administration. “We are looking forward to the new year and the many enhancements it will bring for our campus community. UT Dallas continues to be one of the fastest-growing and most exciting universities in the country.”

New Buildings, Pathways, Office Locations

Progress continues on the new 200,000-square-foot Engineering Building, also known as Engineering West. The building, which will primarily house the Department of Mechanical Engineering, is scheduled to be completed in fall 2018. It will contain classrooms, research and teaching labs, faculty offices, student workspaces, and a 300-seat auditorium that will be named in honor of Dr. Alexander Clark, a former vice president of academic affairs and one-time acting president of the University. It also will include a retail grab-and-go food location, a third-floor student lounge with a balcony and a landscaped courtyard with seating to provide additional study and collaboration space.

Construction is also underway for the new 186,000-square-foot Science Building, located directly north of the Science Learning Center (SLC). The multistory building will house the Department of Physics, the William B. Hanson Center for Space Sciences, and several classrooms, offices and teaching and research labs. It will have a 300-seat lecture hall and a 150-seat lecture hall, along with an open courtyard with green space and seating areas. To facilitate underground utility work for the new building, Drive D and two handicap accessible and loading parking areas west of the Administration Building (AD) will be closed beginning Monday, Dec.18. They will remain closed until the project’s completion in late 2019. Nearby alternative parking locations include Parking Structure 3 (PS3) and Lots P and A.

The area between South Engineering and Computer Science (ECSS) and Student Services Building Addition (SSA) is being widened and landscaped to create an improved north-south pedestrian path from the Bioengineering and Sciences Building (BSB) to the Activity Center (AB). A sidewalk is also being added from Canyon Creek Heights North to the main campus along Loop Road.

Several departments are preparing to relocate their offices to Synergy Park North 2 (SP2), just north of the main campus. The 79,000 square-foot space, which houses a 6,000-square-foot art gallery, will soon be home to a new student testing facility, aviation archives, and most of the departments in the Office of Budget and Finance. Those departments include: Information Security, Financial Management Services, Payroll, Procurement Management, Contract Administration/HUB Program, Budget and Resource Planning/Central Business Office, and Accounting and Financial Reporting. The moves are tentatively scheduled to be completed between Dec. 18 and Monday, Jan. 22.

Developers are also continuing construction on the second phase of Northside, which will include 900 apartment beds and 6,600 square feet of retail space. The new space, directly north of the existing phase, is scheduled for completion before fall 2018. A new restaurant, Northside Drafthouse and Eatery, is expected to open in early 2018.

Parking and Transportation

In an effort to improve traffic flow, a new bus transit center is being built directly south of the Visitor Center and University Bookstore (VCB). The transit center will replace the current Comet Cruiser drop-off and pickup location on the roundabout near the Naveen Jindal School of Management (JSOM). Weather permitting, the transit center is expected to open Monday, Jan. 8. Please see the updated Comet Cruiser route map.

On Dec. 18, the eastern extension of Frank Johnson Drive, between apartment buildings 65 and 66, will close until Friday, Jan. 5, for road repairs.

The city of Richardson plans to complete concrete repairs on Waterview Parkway before the end of December, and will start two road projects in early January that will affect campus. In mid-January, work will begin on the Tatum and Waterview bridge to allow for two driving lanes and a turn lane in each direction. The city also will extend the hike-and-bike University Trail around campus, starting at Waterview Parkway and Franklyn Jenifer Drive, going north to Synergy Park Boulevard, and then turning east on the south side of Synergy Park to meet the existing paths on Floyd Road. When completed, the path around the entire campus will be approximately 3 miles.

At Callier Center Dallas (CD), the front parking lot will be closed for repairs Dec. 18 through the end of January. Weather permitting, a portion of the lot will reopen for parking on Jan. 8. Alternate spots for UT Dallas parking permit-holders will be available in the overflow green lot off Southwestern Medical Avenue.

The Office of the Provost and Parking and Transportation will continue the Comet Cruiser Medical District Express Route in the spring semester beginning Jan. 8. The shuttle provides service to and from the main UT Dallas campus and the Center for BrainHealth, the Center for Vital Longevity, UT Southwestern, Parkland Hospital and Callier Center Dallas. The route will operate Monday through Friday, with buses departing from Callier Dallas beginning at 7 a.m. each day. A full schedule, detailed route map and bus stop information are available online. The shuttles are equipped with Wi-Fi and can be tracked with GPS. After the spring semester, ridership numbers will be evaluated to determine if the program will be continued.

For more information about construction on campus, visit the Pardon Our Progress website.

Winter Break Reminders

The University will be closed for winter break Thursday, Dec. 21, through Tuesday, Jan. 2.

During this time, several UT Dallas entities will reduce their hours of operation. Holiday hours for Dining Services, the Comet Cruiser, Comet Cabs, the McDermott Library, the Activity Center, Rec Center West and the SPN Wellness Center are now available on their respective websites.

Additionally, the top levels of Parking Structures 1, 3 and 4 will be closed beginning Monday, Dec. 18. During this time, vehicles with green permits will be allowed to park in gold spaces. Any vehicles left on those top levels on Dec. 20 will remain there until the levels reopen Wednesday, Jan. 3, weather permitting.

UT Dallas Facilities Management has scheduled campus utility outages during winter break to conduct annual maintenance and inspections.

The Central Energy Plant (CEP), which affects heating and air conditioning only, will be shut down from 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 21, through Wednesday, Dec. 27. Power to a significant portion of campus will be shut down from approximately 7 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 22, until 7 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 23. Please check the Pardon Our Progress website for more information.

Before leaving for winter break, remember to take these simple steps to conserve energy and protect equipment and data:

Turn off and/or unplug all computer equipment and small appliances.Power down lab spaces by closing fume hood sashes and unplugging unused equipment.Clean out refrigerators.Close windows and blinds.Turn off lights.

Also, remember to follow University procedures to stay informed if inclement weather or other events require changes to campus schedules.

Media Contact: The Office of Media Relations, UT Dallas, (972) 883-2155, [email protected].