Community invited to groundbreaking ceremony of TTU's new residence hall

Tennessee Tech University officials will do something next week they haven't done in more than 10 years — host a groundbreaking ceremony for new campus construction.

Set for 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 13, at the corner of 9th Street and N. Dixie Avenue, the ceremony will mark the start of building for a new four-story, 350-bed residence hall. The Dixie/Rye and Meadows/Early women's complex was demolished earlier this year to make way for the new building.

A reception that will include light refreshments will be held on the Roaden University Center's South Patio — or in the lobby, in case of rain — following the groundbreaking, and the public is invited to both, said Residential Life Director Roger Dickson.

"The groundbreaking ceremony will begin with a few comments from TTU President Bob Bell," he said. "It will feature representatives from architectural and design firms Maffet Stamps of Cookeville and Bernie Weinstein of Nashville, representatives of contracting firm R.G. Anderson of Nashville and a number of community dignitaries."

"Those who attend the event will also have an opportunity at the reception to view floor plans and a pictorial rendering of the new residence hall," Dickson continued.

Because the project for the new residence hall is the first campus construction since the university's 76,993 square-foot Recreation and Fitness Center was built in the early 1990s, it has attracted much attention both on campus and off.

And one of the most frequently asked questions about the project, Dickson said, is how the university can afford the $10 million price tag of the project, especially with the state budget in such dire conditions.

"It's being paid for completely with auxiliary educational bonds, which are comparable to private homeowners' mortgages," he said. "That essentially means that the people who will be living in the building will be the ones paying for the building."

The portion of Dixie Avenue that crosses campus is expected to be closed briefly during Thursday's ceremony.

For more information about the event, call TTU's Residential Life office at 372-3414.

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