The face of the University of Dallas will begin changing in the spring with the completion of current construction and the beginning of new projects.
SB Hall, the new home of the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business, will be open and ready for occupancy this spring semester. The $12 million gift from the Guptas broke ground on Oct. 17, 2014 and, by time of completion, will have taken merely 14 months to construct.
Other changes include the replacement of the current Drama Building on the west side of campus at the end of the fall semester.
Plans will also move forward for a new three-story administrative building on the site of the current Lynch Auditorium, which is scheduled to be torn down sometime this spring.
Because the university cannot be without an auditorium, Lynch will be rebuilt on Carpenter Hall’s current site once the new administrative building has been completed and Carpenter has been torn down.
UD President Thomas Keefe said there is no choice in the matter of tearing down Lynch and Carpenter, as they are both steadily deteriorating. The two buildings have been here since the founding of the university in 1956.
“I would rather plan our own future and have an intelligent operation that is not dictated by crisis, but managed by strategic planning,” Keefe said.
The university has needed a new administrative building to keep up with its top competitors. These admissions rivals include the University of Notre Dame, Baylor University and Texas A&M University.
“If we hope to attract the best students in the country we need a front door that is confident and appealing to show that the university is worthy of those students,” Keefe said. “We are at a point where we are either moving forward or moving back. Technology demands modern buildings and we need to be cognizant of the needs of current students.”
The creation of the new academic hall, administrative building and auditorium in the next four or five years does force the departments and classes once in Carpenter Hall to be relocated. For example, the Office of Student Life will move to the new administrative building the modern languages department will move to Anselm Hall.
Assistant Professor of French, Mr. Jason Lewallen, voiced his support for the cross-campus move.
“What’s nice is that Anselm is a newer building with big offices and smart classrooms. Moving there allows UD to move forward with their plans for the new administrative building,” Lewallen said. “I’ve already started teaching in Anselm, which gives me a chance to walk across campus and see more people — more students, more faculty — that I might not see otherwise.”
Lewallen had few concerns about the move, aside from the fewer parking spaces, which could require parking farther away and, consequently, more walking in bad weather.
“I think it’s probably nice for students to have more modern classrooms,” Lewallen said. “The couches there are probably nice, too.”
Many students agree with the decision to tear down Carpenter and Lynch, though their agreement is not unanimous.
“I’m actually pretty sad they’re taking [Carpenter] down,” junior Katherine Zoch said. “I liked the way the building tilted. It gave it character.”