New patio, offices coming to Lot U

Ongoing construction in the area near Lot U and the soccer fields will bring upgraded facilities such as restrooms, offices and a patio. Photo by Noah Whitehead | Photo Editor.

Restrooms, concession stands undergoing upgrades for future building expansions in summer 2019

The concession stands and restrooms near the soccer fields and Lot U are undergoing renovations to create a new building with more expansive and updated facilities that is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

The renovation project is part of a deal between UTD and the Lake Highlands Girls Classic League, which uses the fields for their season games that run from August to February. Both parties are funding the construction project, said Doug Tomlinson, the assistant vice president for engineering and construction at UTD.

The initial restroom building was constructed in 2000 and the concession stand was added in 2003. Since then, other than various repairs, there have been no major renovations to either structures. Multiple student complaints regarding the quality and quantity of the restrooms contributed to the push to renovate the building, Tomlinson said.

“The restrooms predominantly were in (poor shape) — there weren’t enough of them,” Tomlinson said. “They were old and needed to be updated. We’re replacing what was there with much bigger ones.”

Instead of the previous total of six fixtures — including urinals and stalls — in the old complex restrooms, the new building will have a combined total of 25 fixtures in the men’s and women’s restrooms. Furthermore, the new building will also have an expanded patio area and office spaces for the soccer department, in addition to a renovated concession stand.

At the moment, the restroom-concession stand complex is the only toilet area located near the fields other than the Activity Center and the portable toilets. Tomlinson said the more remote Lot U should now have better access to superior restroom facilities.

“It’s going to be a wow factor,” he said. “These are phenomenal restrooms.”

Tomlinson said another issue with the complex that needed to be fixed was its infrastructure.

“The plumbing service that was out there was old, and we had to do repeated repairs to the sewage system,” he said. “This project will include all new sewer lines, water lines and power lines.”

In a separate initiative, the university is also renovating restrooms in on-campus buildings. Restrooms in Green Hall have been renovated over the last two years, and the restrooms on the fourth and fifth floors of the Jonsson Building were rebuilt last summer, Tomlinson said.

“When people walk by this new building, they’re really just going to be like, ‘Wow,’” he said. “It should be completed in late summer, just in time for the fall semester.”

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