Making downtown Chattanooga a better place to live, shop, work, play,
travel and build is the goal of the Planning and Design Studio, an arm
of the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency. Through a
series of community meetings, residents have had the opportunity to contribute
their ideas to the New Downtown Plan, which will serve as a guideline
for downtown development in the next decade. Planning and Design Studio
Director Karen Hundt says the thoughtful inclusion of UTC in the planning
process provides a "critical element to the study."
"We believe there are ways that downtown can reconnect with the campus
to make it a better place for students and residents living in the area.
We are looking at signage, accessibility, and the image of the University
in the downtown area. We are also looking at new UTC student housing and
how it is being integrated into the surrounding neighborhood," Hundt
Emerging themes discussed in the community meetings include the creation
of more housing, improved parking, pedestrian-friendly streets, more parks
and green spaces, and incentives for building new housing.
UTC occupies a major land mass of 150 acres at Chattanoogas urban
core, an integral part of the citys economic development, according
to Richard Brown, UTC Vice Chancellor of Finance and Operations.
"No longer can we afford to act as an island and plan separately.
By 2004, the University will provide quality housing for downtown with
2000 additional beds in student housing and a collateral economic impact
of $10 million in buying power for the surrounding community," Brown
Ongoing and future projects are planned with architectural and design
elements that are compatible with community standards, according to Brown.
Capital investment on campus will total $150 million, and projects include:
The construction of a $30 million Engineering, Computer Science
and Mathematics Building
$20 million campus housing to open in fall, 2002
$15 million renovation to the UTC University Center
$12 million for a campus wellness center
$7 million investment into the redevelopment of Engel Stadium
$12 million capital maintenance improvements throughout the campus
Additionally, an $8 million elementary school, Brown Academy on East 8th
Street, will be completed in Fall, 2002 allowing a partnership with the
UTC College of Education.
More information on The New Downtown Plan and the process is available