Since 1995 - Insightful commentary on the Georgia Bulldogs

Post UGA starts Tate 2 construction, central campus revitalization

Friday April 20, 2007

It’s been about a year and a half since University of Georgia students approved a fee to construct "Tate 2 ", an expansion of the Tate Student Center at the heart of campus. (Students of my era can relate to a fee for a building – the SPACENTER, now the Ramsey Center – which wouldn’t be finished until we were long gone.) After a delay, groundbreaking finally took place on the project on Thursday.

Tate 2 concept drawing

Though the plans have been scaled back a bit, the concept is still the same. The first phase will be to build a 500-space parking deck in the lot (N11) below the bookstore and adjacent to the Tate Center. Once that parking deck is completed, it will become operational as the Tate Expansion is constructed on top of it. If you think about the landscape in that area, it makes sense…there’s a big slope from the new Student Learning Center down to Tanyard Creek (the location of the Dawg Walk), so the top of this "underground" parking deck will be at ground level for the bookstore and Student Learning Center.

The project will transform the area that has become, thanks to the Dawg Walk, the "front door" to Sanford Stadium. Once the parking deck is completed, the remainder of the parking spaces in Dawg Walk Land will be converted into green space as part of a rehabilitation of the Tanyard Creek area. Original plans even included a "Dawg Walk Overlook" on top of the new parking deck next to the Tate Expansion. You have to see the conceptual drawings to really understand the project.

For those of us used to a sea of asphalt from the bookstore down to Gate 10, it will be a big chance to the central part of campus. The hulking Student Learning Center has already changed the look of the area, and this new development will take the next step. The original plans also call for a future "Alumni Development Center" along Lumpkin Street which will join with the Tate Expansion to mirror the SLC and create a plaza from the Baxter/Lumpkin intersection through to Sanford Drive.

If you’re reading this site, you’re probably more concerned with the impact on football than you are with the aesthetics of the campus master plan. The first obvious impact is parking. Once the project is completed, there will be a shiny new 500-space parking deck to replace the spaces lost to the new Tate Expansion and the green space along Tanyard Creek. In the meantime, those spaces at the site of the former UGA police headquarters and Stegeman Hall (lot N11) will be unavailable. While most of us don’t dream of parking that close to Sanford Stadium, the temporary loss of those spaces will probably push some of those with prime reserved spots further out into campus. The lot leading up to the stadium where the Dawg Walk takes place will remain until the deck is ready.

The broader impact to football fans will be to the gameday experience. If this is done right, I think the changes will eventually be very positive. The green space planned for the area could become a popular gathering area, assuming of course that UGA doesn’t claim it first as a "family-free-friendly" zone or allow the corporate tailgates to take over that prime space in close proximity to the stadium. Currently that entrance to the stadium is a massive parking lot in a bowl bordered by a creek that more closely resembles a drainage ditch. The Dawg Walk should be enhanced as fans can enjoy the plaza and not have to navigate parked cars in order to join in the experience.

3 Responses to 'UGA starts Tate 2 construction, central campus revitalization'

Subscribe to comments with RSS

  • Thanks. I’ll do something on this tomorrow. I have to say…for all my bitching about Mike Adams and his fund raising and general management of things…the guy has a rock solid eye for a greener, more visually appealing, working campus.

    Granted, the student learning center is about 25% to gyfrigginnormous. But otherwise, I’m a fan of projects like the Herty Field reclamation, the pedestrian mall near Forestry and Pharmacy, the student learning center, the new student housing area on east campus and now this.

  • William Tate would be very happy to see the greenspace efforts. Although I do not believe he would support Adams in many areas, this sounds like a good project.

  • I agree … Dean Tate would be very pleased. Looks like they plan to reclaim at least part of the creek. If they do, my girls would probably rather spend their afternoon playing in it than going to the game!