JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL) — East Tennessee State University (ETSU) is preparing to make way for a new Campus Center building.
Crews will begin demolishing the current Campus Center building in November, which is located near the Quad and Brooks Gym. The new center will be built in the same spot and primarily house general education classes.
“East Tennessee State has invested a lot in our buildings, professional programs, medical facilities,” ETSU Chief Operating Officer Jeremy Ross told News Channel 11. “Now, our undergraduate students, their very first class, will be in the center of campus in the most recent cutting-edge building.”
The upcoming addition will be 62,000 square feet of classrooms, labs, study areas and hybrid spaces. ETSU told News Channel 11 there will be areas within the building where both students and faculty can relax during the day.
“Faculty and students will have spaces where they could interact,” Ross said. “There’s certainly classroom spaces, laboratories, but there’s flex spaces, hybrid spaces for technology. There are spaces for poetry readings or design charrettes.”
Design inspiration for the building came from Johnson City’s ties to the railroad industry, with what ETSU called a “cutting-edge” twist on train station architecture.
“You’re going to see arches, flying buttresses in the center and an interior street that’s dynamic, that will have a two-story space where any faculty member or student can come and study and learn or present,” Ross said.
“George L. Carter, who was with the railroad, actually donated land to our building,” said Ross. “So in the center of campus, of the ETSU Pride Walk and off of the quad, this building has a large two-story glass space with inspiration from our railroad past and places; for all of this activity to happen and all of this interaction, and any faculty member or student on campus can make use of these spaces.”
Construction on the new Campus Center building is expected to be complete by the end of 2025 or the beginning of 2026, according to ETSU.