UD begins construction on its newest iconic building

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President Keefe, center, celebrates the groundbreaking of the new building. Photo by Paulina Martin.

On the afternoon of Aug. 23, the University of Dallas broke ground for the ambitious new Student Services and Administration Building, adjacent to the Tower and Lynch Circle.

On the first floor, four storefronts will provide convenient access to financial aid, registration, student account and student employment services.

The second floor will offer three state-of-the-art classrooms, each optimized for a different teaching style, including a traditional seminar setting, technology lab, and space for experiential learning via small breakout group activities.

The second floor will also house the Provost’s Suite and a boardroom overlooking the Mall.

Finally, the President’s Suite and the Office of Advancement will occupy the third floor.

The interior is designed to facilitate flexibility and collaboration and will allow for ample natural light.

Outside, the building will boast 12,000 square feet of patio and terrace space with a two-story pergola. There will also be raised seating to accommodate classes taught outdoors.

In addition to its practical functions, the new building is meant to serve as a visually striking gateway to the campus as well as a symbol of the university.

“Each great campus has an iconic building that holds special significance to all that pass through its gates,” President Keefe said in an Aug. 22 press release.

“Our student services and administration building will immediately serve as our campus’ new front door and one day widely symbolize all that is the University of Dallas.”

The building will cost an estimated 15 million dollars and is expected to be completed in early 2018.

The new building is one of many recent campus development projects including the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine, SB Hall, the rebuilt Drama Building and various campus entryways such as Vilfordi Plaza.

Projects planned for the future include a 750-seat auditorium, improved athletic facilities and an expansion of the Rome campus.

While all of the speakers at the ceremony on Tuesday, including Bishop Kelly and Irving’s mayor, Beth Van Duyne, celebrated the greatness of the university, many vocalized the disparity between the school’s extraordinary academics and community and its rather lackluster physical appearance.

According to President Keefe, a school like UD needs a campus that represents its excellence.

He expressed the hope that a more impressive exterior would attract more students and donors and that the increased revenue could in turn be used for more scholarships, higher faculty salaries and further campus improvements.

While all of the speakers at the ceremony on Tuesday, including Bishop Kelly and Irving’s mayor, Beth Van Duyne, celebrated the greatness of the university, many vocalized the disparity between the school’s extraordinary academics and community and its rather lackluster physical appearance.

According to President Keefe, a school like UD needs a campus that represents its excellence.

He expressed the hope that a more impressive exterior would attract more students and donors and that the increased revenue could in turn be used for more scholarships, higher faculty salaries and further campus improvements.

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