UT plans $107.2M in new projects, including athletics practice facility next to Moody Center

The Moody Center at The University of Texas broke ground in December 2019 and is scheduled to open in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Gensler)
The Moody Center at The University of Texas broke ground in December 2019 and is scheduled to open in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Gensler)

The Moody Center at The University of Texas broke ground in December 2019 and is scheduled to open in 2022. (Rendering courtesy Gensler)

One new building will be going up on The University of Texas campus, and two others will be renovated after the UT Board of Regents approved the projects Feb. 26.

The biggest project is a new $60 million practice facility for the Texas men’s and women’s basketball teams and the women’s rowing team that will be built adjacent to the forthcoming Moody Center—the university’s new $338 million basketball arena.

According to university President Gregory Fenves, the new 75,200-square-foot facility with basketball practice courts, room for rowing training, and office space for team meetings and athletic department staff will replace the old Denton A. Cooley Pavilion. Like the Erwin Center, Cooley Pavilion is set to be demolished to make way for the expansion of the Dell Medical School campus.

The Moody Center, which broke ground in 2019, is scheduled to open in 2022. Board of regents agenda documents show the practice facility is expected to have a similar opening timeline with construction scheduled to begin this summer and completion in June 2022.

The building cost for the new practice facility itself is $30 million, just half of the project total. The other $30 million will be going toward costs such as equipment, site development, project management fees, and architectural and design services.

Fenves told the board of regents Feb. 26 that is because of construction challenges on the site, which was formerly a surface parking lot just south of the Mike A. Myers Stadium and Soccer Field, near the intersection of Red River Street and Robert Dedman Drive.

Fenves said the site is constrained, and the practice facility will be built above a tunnel providing truck access to the new arena.

“We’re not building on a green field with a normal foundation; we’re having to build on top of an existing structure that will be part of the Moody Center,” Fenves said.

According to the presentation Fenves prepared for the board of regents, the UT system’s cost for construction projects is about $359 per square foot. This project has a cost of $399 per square foot.

Blanton Museum of Art, college of education building to get upgrades

A $29 million project that will break ground later this year will improve the Blanton Museum grounds with upgrades including a walking path from the nearby parking garage to the museum entrance, expanded shaded areas outdoors, and stronger connections both to the rest of campus and the Capitol Complex Master Plan project underway across the street.

Renovations are coming to 9,111 square feet of the museum, and the main entrance in the three-building campus will move to the Smith Building, which also includes the museum shop and the cafe. The project was funded mostly by a $20 million gift from the Moody Foundation. Construction is expected to begin in October and finish in November 2021.

Finally, the George I. Sanchez Building, which houses the UT College of Education, is slated for $18.2 million in upgrades after board of regents approval Feb. 26. The renovations will take place on floors two through five on the building, and will include a new entry for student advising and counseling, an information technology help desk, student collaboration space and a faculty research space.

Correction: A previous version of this article stated the Moody Foundation donated $26 million to the project. The Moody Foundation donated $20 million.


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