by Kyle Cochran
If you have ever attended an official information session at TCU, you have probably heard the hilarious joke that the “C” in our name should actually stand for “Construction.” And, if you have ever taken an official visit to TCU’s campus, you probably know why.
When Chancellor Victor J. Boschini joined the TCU community in 2003, he had a vision of change. He wanted TCU’s academics, athletics, campus life, and all other internal aspects to improve in numerous ways to propel TCU as one of the most desired universities in the country. One of the ways in which he hoped to achieve this was to, simply, change the campus. He had aspirations of completely making over TCU’s campus to foster his ideals of improving the university as a whole. Since his plan was put into action, we have had construction projects that have led to a new student union, a new recreation center, new residence halls, new academic buildings, a much much more. Because of the constantly changing campus, students grew to expect one (or several) new pieces of construction to be seen on campus around the calendar. While cranes, bulldozers, and cement trucks may not be the most attractive things to have on campus, students have, of course, reaped the benefits of having very nice places at TCU in which to live and to learn.
Chancellor Boschini’s plans for a revitalization of TCU’s campus have not yet ended (and likely never will), as there are currently several construction projects taking place on campus. Below are the details of six different projects that are currently in progress to give you an idea of the directions TCU is heading in the near future.Mary Couts Burnett Library
The one-stop shop for all things knowledge at TCU is the Mary Couts Burnett Library. It is (or at least should be) graced many times throughout the year by each student on campus as they look to explore the over two million resources available in the form of books, periodicals, academic journals, and much more. One thing that students do find in somewhat short supply, though, is available study space. Especially during mid-term and final exam season, students will scramble to find a table in the quiet section or a group study “Frog Pod” in the loud section to study for exams or work on projects.
TCU is aiming to end these woes, however, by moving the vast majority of the books housed in the library to an offsite warehouse and renovating the space to allow for more technology-focused learning and group study areas. Because the library is open twenty-four hours per day during the week, students will have as much accessibility as possible to study alone or with classmates. All of the books that will be moved will also still be available via a shuttle that will run twice daily to pick up and drop off any materials. Renovations will be completed in the next academic year.
Rees-Jones Hall is a new project being built from the ground up between the Library and Smith Hall on the academic side of campus. Rees-Jones helps fulfill Chancellor Boschini’s ideas of the “Academy of Tomorrow” which hopes to yield a new look for the academic side of campus, similar to what the Campus Commons did for the residential side. Rees-Jones will house some of the newest academic programs on campus, such as the Institute of Child Development and the TCU Energy Institute.
Two growing fields will not only be given their own place to call home, but will, as a result, be given the resources for expanded academic offerings and areas of study. Rees-Jones will be open for the fall of 2014.Bass Building
The Annie Richardson Bass Building is located on the southeast corner of the academic side of campus and houses programs offered within the Harris College of Nursing and Health Sciences, the most prominent of which is Nursing. Students are able to learn about the ever-changing healthcare field and currently, much of their lab-work takes place off campus. With an addition to the Bass Building being completed for the upcoming fall semester, TCU will provide students with ample on-campus lab-space to provide even more direct hands-on learning within Harris College.
Upper-Class Residence Hall
The phrase “If you build it, they will come,” might be mostly associated with Kevin Costner and a baseball field, but it can also be applied to TCU’s approach to residence halls. With a two-year living requirement and the option to live on campus all four years, the demand to live on TCU’s campus is higher than ever. With this being the case, there is a limited number of spots available to juniors and seniors on campus with only a handful of residence halls not reserved for freshmen and sophomores. In response, Chancellor Boschini plans to continue to build residence halls until the demand has been satisfied. In the Worth Hills area of campus, two new upperclassmen residence halls opened in August 2013 and one more will be available to students in August 2014. This yet-to-be-named residence hall will contain suite-style living where students will have their own bedrooms and share one or two bathrooms and a living space with up to three friends. This way, students can avoid trying to sleep through their roommate’s fourth snooze of the alarm clock on a daily basis.
Worth Hills Multi-Purpose Building
With the new residence halls and plans for the fraternity and sorority houses to be renovated on campus over the next five years, the Worth Hills area of campus will begin to see significantly increased traffic from students. To assist with this, a new multi-purpose building is in the beginning phases of construction to house four micro-restaurants, as well as spaces for meetings, study groups, or time to just kick back with fellow students! It will be available to students in January of 2015.
Worth Hills Parking Garage
Next on the list for the Worth Hills area is a parking garage that will cater to all students across campus. This will not only assist with parking for students who live in the nearby residence halls, but will also help relieve some of the congestion found on campus during different athletic events throughout the year. It is targeted to be completed in the summer of 2015.
There you have it: six new construction projects for the ever-changing look to TCU’s campus. If you want any more information on the vision behind some of the projects, check out this video.