UT to acquire White Avenue houses for new lab building

By Jennifer Brake

The Tennessee State Building Commission recently granted the University of Tennessee approval for the purchase of three properties on White Avenue in Fort Sanders to build a new classroom and laboratory facility on Cumberland Avenue.

The large houses are currently on the property at 1302, 1308 and 1312 White Avenue. They will be replaced by a new four-to-five story building, identified as Class Lab Building 1, that will provide approximately 200,000 gross square feet of new academic space, according to a press release from UT Media Relations.

The UT campus master plan that provides a long-range vision for the Knoxville campus identified a need for 560,000 more gross square feet for classrooms and laboratories.

The new Class Lab Building 1 will house portions of microbiology, biochemistry and cellular and molecular biology, psychology, nutrition, a vivarium, shared laboratories and general-purpose classrooms, according to the press release.

UT will seek approval from the City of Knoxville to close 13th Street from Cumberland to White Avenue for the project.