New music center and sports training facilities on the way to UofM

Expect to see a lot of construction across the University of Memphis campus over the next few years. Several more large-scale construction projects are pegged on the UofM campus development map, with a new music center planned on Central Avenue and two new sports practice facilities going up on the school’s Park Avenue campus to the south.
 
The new music center will sit directly across Central Avenue from the university’s existing music building, which was built in the early 1970s.
 
“That’s our number 1 project that we are requesting Capital Outlay appropriations from the state of Tennessee for,” said Poteet.
 
The university is requesting $33 million of Capital Outlay funds and will provide 25 percent ($11 million) of match funds to provide a new facility. The hope is for the project to be added to the TBR priority list of funding requests for state appropriation in 2017/2018. Match funds will come from fundraising and from university funds.
 
The focal point of the center will be a 1,000- to 1,100-seat performance hall, and early concepts also include a lot of rehearsal space. The old music center will be used for administrative and classroom functions.
 
“The old building has been there for so long and the program it was designed for had much fewer students, so we’ve outgrown it,” said Tony Poteet, UofM vice president of planning and design. “And we really need the performance space.”
 
He hopes the project is approved in the next legislative cycle, and then the design process will begin.
 
Nearby to the south on the university’s Park Avenue campus, a new $20 million basketball training center is under construction. The general contractor is Linkus Construction.
 
The project, which was designed by Looney Ricks Kiss, includes a new training facility for men’s basketball, with courts, weight training areas, study areas, lounge and eating area, as well as a lobby that will double as a “Hall of Fame.”
 
The facility should open by the end of 2017.
 
Also on the Park Avenue campus, fundraising efforts are nearing completion for the new $19 million indoor football practice facility. Construction is expected to get underway next spring on the project, which has already been designed by Fleming Architects. One of the existing practice fields will be covered for indoor use.
 

Read more articles by Michael Waddell.

Michael Waddell is a native Memphian who returned to Memphis several years ago after working for nearly a decade in San Diego and St. Petersburg, Fla., as a writer, editor and graphic designer. His work over the past few years has been featured in The Memphis Daily News, Memphis Bioworks Magazine, Memphis Crossroads, the New York Daily News and the New York Post. Contact Michael.
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