More than 100 years ago, a group of visionaries brought our university into being. Today, we call upon all whose lives have been improved by their Tennessee Tech experience to help pave the way to future success. This includes modernizing the campus infrastructure to improve the student experience and bringing a new focus on distinction to campus facilities. These initiatives include:
Occupying 150,000-square-feet of space, the new science building, once completed, will be the largest academic building on campus. The building will house the chemistry department and a portion of the biology department.
There will also be labs for Earth sciences, physics and environmental sciences. In keeping with the university’s master plan, the building will be located immediately north of the Capital Quad residence halls on the site of a current parking lot. It will be the key feature of a future east-west academic mall.
Jeff Boles, Chemistry Chairperson
The new laboratory sciences building at Tennessee Tech will create collaborative spaces unlike any that have ever existed at Tech, allowing faculty and students to interact and work together in an unprecedented way. “The more often you are able to bump into one another and talk in the hall or an instrument room, the more likely people are to come up with ideas on how to collaborate, and the students, of course, would benefit from that,” Chemistry Chairperson, Jeff Boles said. “Spaces like that simply don’t exist right now. Sometimes space and opportunity are linked.”
By creating spaces that students see as both inviting and exciting, Boles sees the building as a game changer for the student experience. “If just the way it is designed coupled with the activities that we carry out inside that building increases their self-confidence and their courage to get involved, that’s going to be a great thing.” As Tennessee Tech puts more focus on research, Boles also sees the new facility as an opportunity to encourage an energy for research on campus.
“We already plan activities to break down the barrier between new students and faculty and encourage them to get involved in undergraduate research,” Boles said. “I hope that in the new building, those barriers are easier to break down and that students will feel a much greater invitation to get involved with everything that goes on. “I see that building becoming a home away from home for students, where they can get their needs met to reach their goals.”
With its prominent location, the new Fitness Center is designed to be the new campus “front door” attracting prospective students while serving current students and faculty. The design fosters an inviting environment for wellness by creating spaces that combine independent and group recreation together to meet the needs of all users. Fitness and weight spaces will provide state-of-the-art equipment, including a climbing wall, in a dynamic two-level space, as well as racquetball courts.
Gym courts will feature spectator viewing and pre-game gathering spaces for drop-in play, scheduled leagues and intramural events. A Multipurpose Activity Court will allow access to indoor sports, while the indoor leisure pool will create more opportunities for social interaction. Lap lanes will be provided for exercise and programmed activities, and a whirlpool will invite relaxation and socializing.
Renovations to Jere Whitson Hall will transform the historic building into the campus visitor and welcome center, as well as serve as a one-stop shop for students. The renovated space will include the following offices: admissions, financial aid, advisement, academic services, records and registration and military and veteran affairs.
Consolidation of these offices into one space will make it much easier on students who need assistance, and well as providing important navigation help for incoming students and their families. Additionally, the Backdoor Playhouse will take up space in the entire basement.
The Golden Eagle Golf Club, donated to the university by Lanny Dunn, is an 18-hole course with a 6,600 yard, par 70 layout that offers four sets of tees, providing unique challenges for every level of play. An exclusive opportuntity for the university, the golf course expands ways for Tech students to have hands-on experiences that make their degrees distinctive, such as for turfgrass management and food system administration.
Improvements to the course include potential property acquisitions to expand the footprint in order to host championship tournaments, as well as renovations to the club house and grounds.
For the past year, the College of Agriculture and Human Ecology has been formulating plans for the new Poultry Science Center and Food Science Center. The new poultry houses and food science building will benefit student education as well as industry needs by incorporating research projects relevant to the continued success of the industry.
This project has been awarded a $2.07 million grant from the state and substantial funding from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, along with $20,000 from a corporate sponsor among other generous corporate supporters and private benefactors has been provided.
With these new facilities, Tennessee Tech students will learn and ensure the humane handling of animals. Students will also learn about food science and safety, processing, handling and food defense. New construction of a commercial kitchen and meat processing area, will offer the opportunity to develop a much-needed Food Science program. Ultimately, these facilities link the School of Agriculture and School of Human Ecology together to provide comprehensive farm-to-fork training for our students and serve the community by providing important workshops and certifications.