At the Center of it All
For the first time in its history, UT Arlington finally has an events arena to call home. The new College Park Center, opening February 1, 2012, represents a dream come true for a generation of alumni, faculty, staff, and community members. And for the next generation of students, it offers a vision of great things to come.
The $78 million, 218,000-square-foot facility is a transformational jewel for the campus of nearly 33,000 students and a catalyst for revitalization in the city's central business district. It provides a new home court for the University's basketball and volleyball teams, which previously played in Texas Hall, and also gives the city of Arlington a signature facility for high-profile events and entertainment, conferences, and community activities.
Located between Second and Third streets east of Spaniolo Drive (formerly South Pecan Street), College Park Center can accommodate up to 6,750 guests for a center-stage concert and 7,000 for traditional court-based athletics events. The state-of-the-art practice and competition facility promises to create opportunities to schedule high-profile competition, enhance recruiting, and attract significantly larger audiences and media coverage.
As part of its commitment to academic excellence, the University has devoted significant space to an academic support study center with a study hall, computer lab, group study room, and areas for academic advising.
UT Arlington generates funds for the Center through a combination of rental fees, ticket sale revenue, and income from other sources. In addition, students voted in an April 2005 referendum to help support College Park Center operations through an additional $2 per semester credit hour fee. UT System Regents voted March 3, 2010, to allow that fee to be implemented in fall 2011.
College Park Center's location was strategically chosen to help lure the Arlington community downtown. The city has made it a priority to breathe new life into the area, already adding entertainment, retail, and dining opportunities. The Center is expected to provide the tipping point the city needs, catalyzing many of these initiatives and having a ripple effect on downtown revitalization efforts and campus life development, ultimately accelerating and enriching both.
Built to a Higher Standard
Designed by HKS Inc., College Park Center is expected to meet LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards, incorporating many energy-efficient features including low-emittance glazed windows, a highly reflective roof that reduces the solar load on the building, and a low-use water system. The building incorporates regional materials and includes native landscaping.
The exterior mixes brick and stone exteriors with windows that stretch nearly the full height of the 50-foot building. The building is oriented to allow natural light to flow onto the concourses.