Students will have a new place to live on the UT campus for the first time in 40 years.
The university is constructing its first new residence hall in more than four decades on Andy Holt Avenue at the corner of Melrose Avenue. It is expected to be complete by the fall of 2014.
It will house 700 undergraduate men and women in two-person suites and four-person super suites.
"We need to modernize our facilities in our journey to the Top 25," said Frank Cuevas, director of University Housing. "We're trying to give students what they want - more privacy, more movable furniture. We're investing in our buildings to bring them up to speed."
In the new residence hall, the suites are double occupancy rooms with a shared bathroom. The super suites are arranged similarly, but connect to a common living room and shared bathroom. Each room type will have a different rental rate.
The hall will have modern-style furniture, including adjustable beds that can be raised or lowered to a desired height. Suites also will be equipped with a desk, desk chair, bed and dresser. Suites will have a micro fridge and super suites will be equipped with a larger refrigerator.
UT says it will offer more community space than existing halls, and its central core will consist of lounges for students to gather and study. Wireless internet also will be accessible within the building. Amenities will include laundry facilities as well as recreation and fitness rooms. It will have two restaurants: Tortilla Fresca, a Mexican-themed eatery, and a Subway. The eateries will have indoor and outdoor seating.
The cost of constructing the new residence hall is estimated at $59 million, which is being financed through student rental fees and the sale of revenue bonds as approved through the state building commission.
Move-in begins Saturday for more than 7,300 new and returning students who will converge on UT's 12 existing residence halls.
Although this is the first new hall to be built in four decades, the university has updated its housing inventory by acquiring Volunteer Hall, renovating several halls and retiring its oldest facilities, Melrose, Strong and Greve halls.