UT gets the go-ahead for new residence halls

Published 3:16 pm Wednesday, November 8, 2023

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The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees on Friday approved the construction of new residential communities at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, through a public-private partnership. The project will allow the university to meet student housing needs more quickly as demand continues to increase. The board also approved naming Keith Carver Jr. permanent senior vice chancellor and senior vice president for the UT Institute of Agriculture.

Two new residential communities will add approximately 1,900 beds to the university’s housing inventory. They are expected to open for the fall 2025 semester and will help meet the university’s long-term housing needs, driven in part by growing enrollment and also the desire from more students to live on campus longer.

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The university previously selected and the State Building Commission awarded the public-private partnership project to RISE Development, LLC through a competitive bid process.

“We are excited to continue the Rise Development, LLC partnership with the support of the Board of Trustees,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Life Frank Cuevas. “The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, is thriving, and the development of these new residence halls will help us build a more dynamic on-campus student experience and meet the needs of a growing student body, while providing our students with affordable campus housing options.”

The board voted to approve construction of the project and allow the university to enter ground lease and management agreements with RISE and its subsidiaries. Through the ground lease, UT will retain ownership of the land and RISE and its subsidiaries will finance, own, design and construct the project. Under the management agreement, students will sign a University Housing contract and receive the same services and residential life programs as they would in university-owned housing.

The State Building Commission will need to authorize and approve the ground lease and management agreement, which is expected to happen later this year.

The first phase of the project includes developments at two sites. The first at the intersection of Andy Holt Avenue and 20th Street will feature a residence hall with about 750 beds. The second, a two-building housing complex with approximately 1,150 beds, will be built between Caledonia and Terrance Avenues.