UNT Frisco master plan projects ‘unusually short’ timeline, potential Fields development collaboration

Full buildout of the UNT Frisco branch campus is projected for a 25- to 30-year timeline.

Full buildout of the UNT Frisco branch campus is projected for a 25- to 30-year timeline.

Image description
Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 6.21.28 PM
Image description
Screen Shot 2019-08-16 at 6.26.13 PM
The master plan for the University of North Texas’ Frisco campus aims to connect to the adjacent Fields development and a future city park. And this build-out could finish sooner rather than later, Ayers Saint Gross Architects design director Jack Black said at the UNT System Board of Regents meeting Aug. 15.

“Development window of this campus is unusually short,” Black told the board.

The Frisco branch campus is looking at a 25- to 30-year timeline. But this timeline could move up by 10 years in the event of “significant” growth and land assets, Black said. The complete build-out of college developments is typically 50 years, he said.

The campus' future students could find educational opportunities with the Fields development, which will include the Professional Golfers’ Association of America’s headquarters, dean of UNT at Frisco Wesley Randall said.

“Being right next to Fields is outstanding,” Randall said. “There are some great opportunities for public/private partnerships.”

UNT senior vice president for finance and administration Bob Brown said UNT and the Fields development are in talks with one another, though no plans are official.

“I think where we can have partnerships with private industry for projects makes financial sense for [Fields] and allows us to spend our money on the education research and services,” Brown said.

Other public and private partnerships could involve student housing, Brown told the board. The Fields development is expected to have single- and multi-family housing options.

The branch campus currently does not have student housing as a part of its master plan, but Brown said the private industry will likely address this.

“The chance is greater than 50% [the private industry] will respond with student housing,” Brown said.

UNT and the city of Frisco have discussed connecting trails from the UNT Frisco campus to the future park projected to be west of campus, Brown said. Preliminary discussions have considered a shared parking lot between UNT Frisco and the park.

“They do intend to cooperate with us,” Brown said. “I think we want to because we’ll want to have [recreation] sports programs.”

Conversations with the city have extended toward the campus’ future educational opportunities, Randall said. UNT discussed Frisco’s economic development plan with the city of Frisco and Collin College.

“We have a good idea of the kinds of jobs coming in the next five, 10, 15 years,” Randall said. “And our students are right in the middle of it.”

“Massive” interest by Frisco businesses will lead to partnerships with the Dallas Cowboys, the Frisco RoughRiders, the city of Frisco, software company HCL Technologies and Core Construction.

Around 1,600 UNT students are currently making their mark in Frisco at UNT's Hall Park and Inspire Park campuses as well as at the Collin College Higher Education Center in McKinney. Beginning in fall 2019, UNT Frisco will have its first cohort of 25 freshmen looking to complete a degree in project design and analysis out of the Hall Park campus, Randall said. These students will complete their degree in three years as it includes summer semesters with paid internships as part of the curriculum.

When students begin classes at the upcoming UNT Frisco campus in the spring 2023 semester, the first part of the campus will be ready. It will contain the campus entrance, a surface parking lot, the first building structure, a bell tower, a prairie amphitheater and a pavilion. The campus could be as large as 150,000 square feet.

The campus could also have a student population of 3,000, UNT marketing specialist Vincent Fisher, said.

Five years later, Brown said at least two more structures will be built to complete the initial phase of the plan. By this point, campus could be double the size.

“How fast it goes after that depends on how successful the site is and [how successful] we are in generating enrollment,” Brown said.

The master plan indicates that further build-out will include two additional mall areas, which contain walkable spaces and natural surroundings, an event plaza, a trail system, preserved natural areas and a central amphitheater.
Editor’s note: The original post has been edited to correct an error. UNT Frisco’s first cohort of 25 freshmen started in fall 2019. The story was also updated to include UNT's current enrollment in Frisco.
By Elizabeth Ucles

Elizabeth is the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's Frisco edition. She graduated from St. Edward's University with a degree in Writing and Rhetoric with a journalism concentration and a minor in Spanish in May 2019. Elizabeth covers public and higher education, development and transportation.


Medical professionals from Baylor Scott & White Medical Center–Centennial in Frisco received a donation of masks and assorted goodies from Two Men and A Truck on April 3. (Courtesy Two Men and A Truck)
Moving company Two Men and A Truck donate face masks to Frisco, McKinney hospitals

After receiving a gift of more than 100 face masks, the North Dallas-area franchise set up a donation of 50 masks to area Baylor Scott & White hospitals.

Crush Taco will partner with Hardie’s Fresh Foods on April 4 to offer boxes filled with hard-to-find produce and foods, such as tomatoes, onions, garlic, lettuce mixes, eggs and chicken. (Courtesy Crush Taco)
Crush Taco offers to-go taco bar, partners with local vendors to provide produce, meats in Frisco

The taco shop shifted to only offering to-go orders in mid-March.

The American Red Cross is urging people to continue donating blood to avoid any shortages during the COVID-19 outbreak. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
American Red Cross avoids near-shortage of blood donations, urges donors to keep scheduling appointments

When concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak started to rise to new levels in the nation in March, thousands of blood donors canceled appointments with the American Red Cross.

The Grapevine-Colleyville ISD Health Department has been busy assisting the district with health initiatives, such as delivering meals. (Courtesy Amy Taldo)
ROUNDUP: 5 recent stories on the DFW area’s continued coronavirus response

Read the latest coronavirus updates from communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area below.

Walmart's Frisco locations are currently closing at 8:30 p.m. daily to allow overnight cleanings. (Courtesy Walmart)
Local Walmart stores add more safety measures for employees, customers

The company is planning to give its workers the opportunity to wear masks and gloves while on the job.

President Donald Trump signed a $2 trillion package March 27 to provide relief during the coronavirus pandemic. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Sen. John Cornyn discusses provisions laid out in CARES Act

The $2 trillion package provides funding to help fight the virus and to provide financial assistance for Americans during the pandemic.

Members of the Frisco Downtown Merchants Association have created a daily digital support meeting during the coronavirus pandemic. The group's members are working together to help one another stay in business. (Courtesy Ed Mahoney)
Coronavirus coverage roundup in the Dallas-Fort Worth area

Here are some noteworthy stories from the past week dealing with the impact of the coronavirus.

Initial claims for unemployment insurance rates are increasing across the nation in the midst of COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas sees 77% increase in unemployment insurance claims during week ending March 28

Texas ranked fifth among states in the U.S. with 275,597 initial claims filed the week ending March 28.

Collin, Denton, Dallas and Tarrant counties have a higher response rate than the state of Texas as of Mach 31. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Census responses ahead of U.S. in Dallas-Fort Worth, growth highest in nation

Dallas-Fort Worth counties vary in self-response rates on the U.S. census as Census Day arrives April 1.

A Texas Health Frisco medical professional said the risk of coronavirus to pregnant women does not appear to be as significant as swine flu, SARS or MERS. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
‘Be prepared to be flexible’: Frisco OB-GYN urges expectant mothers to check in with hospitals amid COVID-19

Texas Health Frisco OBGYN says local hospitals are constantly getting new rules from the federal government and state.

Frisco Public Library offering digital, online resources while physically closed

Library Director Shelley Holley said the city facility is offering regular story times and other programs through its social media pages and has already boosted its e-book and e-audiobook offerings.

Texas Tribune: Some local elections in Texas moving ahead despite coronavirus spread

A handful of towns and special districts still plan to go ahead with their May 2 votes, arranging polling places despite calls from the president on down directing people to stay at home to prevent the spread of the deadly virus.