The project will involve demolishing Martin Ruter and Ernest Clark residence halls to build new ones as well as constructing other new facilities. Combined, the projects are estimated to cost more than $100 million.
The university also plans to renovate Mood-Bridwell Hall, which houses the Brown College of Arts and Sciences, and build a mixed-use baseball and softball stadium along with a football stadium.
Construction of the new facilities is set to start in May 2023 and be completed in the fall of 2025. The university plans to work on the projects simultaneously.
Paul Secord, Southwestern’s vice president for University Relations and Strategic Initiatives, said the university has not built a baseball or softball stadium in decades. Additionally, the Southwestern University Pirates football team currently play home games at the Georgetown ISD Athletic Complex and Birkelbach Field.
“For the first time since the 1950s we will be building a baseball and softball field house that will serve both the softball and baseball teams, as well as have concessions and viewing areas and locker rooms,” Secord said.
The new residence halls have to be built before the old ones are demolished because the university is almost at 100% capacity for residential living, Secord said. Once built, the new halls will increase the number of residential beds at SU by 149.
One of the new halls will be built near the existing first-year quad of residence halls. The upcoming halls have not yet been given names.
Secord said new student amenities will be added in the location where Clark Hall currently sits after it is torn down. The area will include a gathering space and an amphitheater, he said.
The university also plans to renovate Mabee Hall, which opened in 1985 and is the second oldest residence hall on campus.
Secord said most of the funding for the new facilities will come from bonds the university has acquired. The bonds were granted by the Clifton Higher Education Finance Corp. and approved by Williamson County Commissioners Court July 26.
“So the majority of the projects are being financed through bond debt that the university has issued, about $80 million” Secord said.
Secord said the remaining $20 million-$24 million in funding needed for the renovations and new facilities will come from philanthropy.
The Mood-Bridwell renovation is one of the projects funded through philanthropy.
“The university is very fortunate to have a number of foundations as well as individual donors, both alumni, parents, friends of the university, who have made very sizable gifts—anywhere from $25,000 up to $3 million—to finance the renovation of the Mood-Bridwell project,” Secord said.