UofM moves forward with additional student housing development for Park Avenue Campus
Nov. 12, 2020 — The University of Memphis has announced plans for moving forward with an additional student housing development on its Park Avenue Campus master plan, which has already seen investment of $107 million in construction since 2015.
Despite an uncertain economic period, enrollment at the UofM remains strong along with the march to Carnegie Research I status. As the UofM continues to pursue its Deloach Street housing development, the University recognizes there is a need to better support its student-athletes as well as UofM students in the highly desired nursing and health programs with a housing development on the Park Avenue Campus.
The Park Avenue Campus houses most of the athletics facilities, the Community Health Building, Loewenberg College of Nursing, clinics and University of Memphis Research Foundation Ventures, with plans for additional investments in academic and other programming.
"This is another exciting opportunity for us to invest in the continued growth and development of our Park Avenue Campus," said UofM President M. David Rudd. "We have made tremendous strides improving the campus from an academic and athletic perspective in recent years, particularly with the completed construction of the Community Health Building, Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center and most recently an indoor football practice facility.
“With this housing development, we will continue that momentum and create another asset to greatly assist not only the efforts of our athletic programs, but also our research efforts as we continue pursuing our goal of becoming a Carnegie R1 institution in the near future."
The housing development, which will have no more than 49% of its occupants as student-athletes, will be centrally located on the Park Avenue Campus and will feature academic and nutrition support and study spaces. The gated complex will also be a part of a campus beautification that will have interconnected walkways, landscaping and lighting that will include the tearing down of outdated buildings.
“This housing development will present an incredible opportunity for us to offer an even better every-day experience for our student-athletes,” said Memphis Director of Athletics Laird Veatch. “It is another game-changer for Memphis Athletics and will serve as a central piece of our long-term vision for the Park Avenue Campus. I am extremely thankful for the support of the Board of Trustees, President Rudd and all of our donors.
“All 19 of our sports will be positively impacted with this phenomenal development, especially for many of our programs which are located on the Park Avenue Campus. Not only will it provide convenient access to training and competition facilities, but it will also present opportunities to provide enhanced academic, nutrition and social experiences.”
More information on the timing of the project will follow as the UofM proceeds with moving forward aggressively to obtain State Building Commission approval. Project design and construction will follow approval.
“While these are challenging times, the University remains focused on ensuring that we are making thoughtful and appropriate investments in infrastructure that support our students, faculty, staff and our community,” said UofM Executive Vice President for Business & Finance and Chief Financial Officer Raaj Kurapati. “This project is part of our capital masterplan and will support our continued enrollment growth and march toward the Carnegie R1 designation.”
Along with the Community Health Building, which was built in 2015 and unites the faculty, staff, students and facilities of the Loewenberg College of Nursing, School of Communication Sciences and Disorders, the Memphis Speech and Hearing Clinic and the future Autism Center, the Park Avenue Campus also includes the Laurie-Walton Family Basketball Center built in 2017, the two phases of the Billy J. Murphy Complex football indoor football practice facility and offices completed this past summer and UMRF Ventures. There have also been investments in softball, baseball, track and soccer infrastructure.