Campus facilities improvements, additions to be implemented over time at the University of Texas. (Image Credit: University of Texas)
The University of Texas released information to the public in their new "The Texas Athletics Master Plan." The plan shows what campus will look like when the iconic Frank Erwin Center is demolished.
They posted the following information on their official site for UT athletics TexasSports.com.
As the City of Austin and The University of Texas continue to grow, Texas Athletics and university leaders have been working to proactively identify campus facility improvements and enhancements to best serve student-athletes, coaches, neighbors, donors, ticketholders and other stakeholders.
A consultation team led by Sasaki Associates, Inc., managed the lengthy evaluation process in concert with athletics senior staff and UT Office of Campus Planning and Facilities Management. Massachusetts-based Sasaki is known globally for its work in architecture, planning, design and civil engineering, as well as software development.
The result of the 20-month-long study is the Texas Athletics Master Plan, which builds upon the framework of the 2012 University of Texas Master Plan. As building sites on and around the UT campus become more limited, the plan identifies potential sites for a future multi-purpose arena and basketball practice facility. This is in addition to the East Campus Master Plan, which includes a new tennis facility.
"I am pleased to work with university officials and stakeholders, as well as Women's Athletics Director Chris Plonsky, to develop a joint vision for Texas Athletics and our facilities," Texas Men's Athletics Director Mike Perrin said. "We are proud to have taken this extensive and thorough look into the future of Texas Athletics. We must address our facility needs in a way that is consistent with the university's vision and values."
Texas Athletics invested more than $390,000 to develop the plan with the consultation team. The process included working cooperatively with coaches, staff, student-athletes and other stakeholders, including the Longhorn Band, faculty and vendors.
"This provides a conceptual plan of the evolving vision for Texas Athletics. We are committed to maintaining an environment that promotes the academic and athletics success of our student-athletes. This means being thoughtful and proactive about prospective facility sites," said Plonsky. "All options for further construction or expansion will be determined by both athletics administration and the president's office and, as appropriate, be subject to UT System Board of Regent approvals."
The master plan attempts to:
- Create best-in-class athletics facilities that are flexible, functional, efficient, cost effective, and sustainable.
- Mitigate the time management challenges of student-athletes' schedules for classes, practices, sports medicine treatments, academic advising, and competition schedules by locating venues in close proximity to other athletics, academic, sports medicine, training and nutrition facilities inside Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
- Improve operational efficiency and convenience for daily and event day operations. Emphasize quality standards like safety, Texas hospitality, teamwork and efficiency. Enhance the overall gameday experience and maintain the quality of life in the neighborhoods adjacent to campus.
The plan identifies preferred sites for a future replacement of the Frank Erwin Center and Denton Cooley Pavilion (basketball practice facility).
"The Erwin Center has served Central Texas well since 1977," Perrin said. "But due to expected growth of the UT Health District, it will need to be replaced probably within 8-10 years. We prefer to have that new arena built in a nearby spot on campus but depending on the availability of land on campus, we may need to look elsewhere."
The consultant team explored several alternative site options for the replacement of the Frank Erwin Center and Denton Cooley Pavilion. The studies tested the capacity of each site to accommodate the facilities, taking into consideration adjacencies, relationships with other athletics venues, displacements, impact of Capitol view corridors, access, service, parking, utilities, loading dock locations and integration within the 2012 Campus Master Plan framework.
"Five site options and two sub-options were examined," Perrin said. "While there were pros and cons associated with each of these site options, the university's Facilities and Space Council preferred the area just south of Mike A. Myers Stadium (between Red River St. and Robert Dedman Dr.) should the replacement arena be built on campus."
The future basketball practice facility is proposed for the area at the corner Red River St. and Clyde Littlefield Dr.
The plan also notes development in the East Campus area, including the site for a new tennis facility replacing the former Penick-Allison Tennis Center, now under construction.
The university is constructing two other key elements in the East Campus area -- a much-needed 2,000-space parking structure (now under construction) on the west side of UFCU Disch-Falk Field and graduate student housing on the east side of Red & Charline McCombs Field that will contribute to the residential nature of the neighborhood.
The East Campus parking garage will benefit students, faculty, staff, event patrons and visitors to the university. The structure also will provide parking for residents of the new graduate student housing complex. Construction began in March 2016, and will take place in two phases, with substantial completion in November 2017.
The design will allow future addition of a multi-modal bus facility that will serve Capital Metro and shuttle buses and operate much like the UT Austin bus zone along 23rd Street. With room for multiple buses to queue, this area can serve as a distribution point for multiple bus lines.
To read more on the Texas Athletics Master Plan, click here.