We got a first look into a project that university leaders hope will shape the future of the university's reputation. The first round of incoming freshmen started moving into the new Fred Brown Junior Hall on Monday.
It's a project that was three years coming, and it is getting rave reviews even on day one.
"It just makes you happy," said Margaret Draper.
She is on the UT Track team and is an incoming freshman. She said her room made her feel right at home and ready to learn.
"It's so much nicer than I thought even a freshman would get to live in. Everything is brand new and so clean and so nice," said Draper.
Fred Brown Junior Hall is just the next step for UT's campus.
"As we look into the journey of becoming a top 25 institution, we really start to look into our facilities that are outdated. While we have done a good job maintaining our current facilities, also student demands change over time," said executive director of UT Housing, Frank Cuevas.
This new dorm holds 682 students in either either two or four bedroom suites. It also has a gym and even a Subway restaurant.
"I joked earlier that these are probably the bigger closets you are going to see on campus, and that's the biggest criticism we here. These closets are small, but they are larger closets," said Cuevas.
The renovations are all part of a bigger picture.
"Within a five to six year period, all of the campus housing will be completely redone," said Cuevas.
And even with growth of off-campus housing, school officials are comfortable they can create a home for students of all ages.
"When you look at what we offer and the amenities they are getting, it will certainly appeal to all levels. What we want to do is that we know by creating what we call inter-generational housing, we have freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors living together, that has a ripple effect in building a sense of community that we want to have," said Cuevas.
A formal dedication service for the new residence hall is set for October 10.