University of North Texas will build first permanent branch campus in Frisco; construction to start in 2022

The University of North Texas announced Tuesday that it will build a branch campus in Frisco.

The University of North Texas announced Tuesday that it will build a branch campus in Frisco.

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The University of North Texas will build a permanent branch campus in Frisco to serve at least 5,000 students. Construction is scheduled to start no later than March 2022.

On Tuesday, Frisco City Council, the Frisco Economic Development Corp. and the Frisco Community Development Corp. unanimously voted to approve the new campus.

The future UNT branch will be located at the southwest corner of Preston Road and Panther Creek Parkway on 100 acres of land, to start, provided by the city of Frisco at no cost.

“The benefit to Frisco is immeasurable as far as what they’re going to bring to this community,” Frisco Mayor Jeff Cheney said. “Just having a research institution like [UNT] is going to first and foremost bring educational opportunities for our residents, [and] it’s going to help us with business attraction.”

This will be the first branch campus that will be permanent that UNT has ever built, UNT President Neal Smatresk said.

“Not only is it going to be the first in our 127-year history, we think it’s going to be hotbed of innovation and new curriculum development,” Smatresk said.

Smatresk said the campus will offer bachelor’s and master’s degrees that will be based off the demand of corporations in the area and will be "tailored-made" to take advantage of the digital economy, creative economy, and the sports and entertainment market.

Construction of the branch campus will be completed in two, 50-acre phases. UNT has the option to purchase another 50 acres for approximately $185,000 per acre.

According to the city the 100 acres of city property being exchanged for the new branch campus is part of the city’s 390-acre land purchase of Brinkmann Ranch earlier this year, 240 acres of which will be used by the city for athletic fields.

UNT will also purchase the 50,000-square-foot, FEDC-owned building at 6170 Research Road for about $8.5 million. The building is currently occupied by LaunchPad City, a business accelerator and incubator. The university will consider other joint partnerships with the city that could include facilities, parks, open space and parking.
By Nicole Luna
Nicole Luna is the Senior Reporter for Frisco. She covers development, transportation, education, business and city government. She has a bachelor's degree in Journalism and Spanish from The University of Texas at Arlington and has been with Community Impact Newspaper since June 2015.


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