Meal plans will begin to be required and Brazos House will be torn down.

By Colby Farr
The Shorthorn staff

UTA housing residents will see some changes next fall with Brazos House being torn down and West Campus Residence Hall anticipating completion.

Eric Leidlein, executive director of auxiliary services, said the new hall will accommodate 534 residents when it opens next August. Lipscomb Hall will require its fall 2018 residents to acquire a meal plan.

Trinity Hall will follow suit in fall 2019 and require its residents to acquire a meal plan with UTA, Leidlein said.

Demolition of Brazos House will begin after current residents move out and will continue through much of the summer.

Leidlein said the building would have been costly to renovate and structural changes would have minimized the number of rooms available for residents.

“It’s simply not sized to accommodate students with their latest standards of living,” he said.

In its place, a park-like environment is planned to be built for students.

Leidlein said UTA had intended to tear down Trinity Hall too, but decided to keep it for a few more years. It felt prudent to keep Trinity a while longer amid enrollment increases, he said.

UTA’s current occupancy capacity is 2,181, but by next August that number will be 2,619, he said.

Also starting this fall, residence halls that haven’t required meal plans before will begin doing so.

Leidlein said a master study conducted in 2014 recommended that UTA require meal plans to enhance the student experience.

“It allows students to get to know one another in an informal setting,” he said. “It supports a development of a stronger community.”

The university decided it would phase in meal plans for on-campus students. Leidlein said it was pretty common among other universities.

“We’re looking forward to see how these new improvements to the campus will make [it] more vibrant,” he said.

Don Lange, auxiliary operations and logistics director, said in an email that West Campus Residence Hall will be completed by Aug. 10. Its 275 rooms will accommodate 534 residents, including 16 resident assistants.

In addition to the residence hall, he said the West Campus Student Center would support the dining needs of students staying at the residence hall, as well as staff, faculty and students who work on the west side of campus.