Texas Tech University

Texas Tech University Regents Announce New Site Plans for Rawls College of Business

October 12, 2007

Author: Marlena Hartz, Associated Press, Lubbock Avalanche Journal, LubbockOnLine.com

Tech's regents sign off on two key projects



Plans for a Texas Tech College of Business building and nearby north campus entrance - two parts of a larger plan to maintain a student-friendly campus capable of serving a much larger student body - were approved Friday, October 12, by the university's board of regents.

The Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration building will be located at the north end of campus near Ninth Street and Thompson Hall.

It will be within walking distance of the future North Campus Gateway - an entrance into campus via Marsha Sharp Freeway similar to the existing southern entrance at Broadway and University Avenue. Also nearby: The Engineering Research and Experimental Science buildings.

An additional 250 parking spaces are part of gateway plans.

"This could give a whole new face to the campus," Regent Windy Sitton said.

Ground should be broken on the $60 million business building in 18 months, Tech Vice Chancellor of Facilities Planning and Construction Mike Ellicott said. Both projects should be complete within two years of that date.

Demolition of the City Bank Coliseum and Auditorium, at Fourth Street and the Drive of Champions, has been incorporated into North Campus Gateway architectural drawings. In the drawings, the area is shown as a parking lot.

The coliseum and auditorium, built in 1958, are owned by the city, but the land they sit on is owned by Tech.

Ellicott said city and university leaders are discussing the future of the facilities.

"We all know that the coliseum and auditorium are nearing the end of their usefulness," said Ellicott, adding Tech could use the space as a parking lot or for some other purpose.

Regents on Friday earmarked $1 million for the planning phase of their projects. The funds come from tuition revenue.

"We have an opportunity to create a space that will highlight the system," said Regent Rick Francis, who serves on the board's facilities subcommittee.

The new building and entrance align with regents' long-term vision for the campus, which they are formulating with a larger student body in mind, Francis said.

Regents want enrollment to climb to 40,000 by 2020. In September, 28,260 students were enrolled at Tech.

Regents should approve a revised master plan in accordance with the planned growth by 2008, Francis said. The plan will guide major construction projects. One of its major aims is to foster a student-friendly campus, Francis said. That means 10-minute walks between classes, an outer ring of parking and on-campus amenities, the regent said.

• The Jerry S. Rawls College of Business Administration has a full-time teaching staff of roughly 100 in five departments: accounting, finance, information systems and quantitative science, management and marketing.

• The current college of business building, at 15th Street and Flint Avenue, opened in 1969 and cost about $4 million to build. It's outdated, too small for group learning and has limited wireless technology capability.

• In 2001, Jerry Rawls, a Tech alum and California businessman, donated $25 million to the college, hence its name.

• Of Tech grads, about 25 percent are from the College of Business Administration. [Source: Jerry S. Rawls College of Business publications]

Texas Tech regents hope to revise their master plan by 2008, in preparation for an enrollment increase of some 12,000 students by 2020.

Core concepts of the regents' plan:

• Maintain an urban campus that is pedestrian friendly with 10-minute walks between classes.

• Establish campus zones.

• Construct all new buildings in the Spanish Renaissance style of architecture.

• Maintain and increase significant green space.

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This story first appeared on LubbockOnline.com at 5:44 p.m. Friday, October 12, 2007.