As The University of Texas at Arlington opened up two new buildings on the west side of campus, with hundreds of students waiting in anticipation, state Sen. Royce West said that on this day, “We’re all Mavericks.”
West, D-Dallas, is a UTA alumnus, who was student body president while a student here.
“I don’t care if you’re Democrat or Republican,” said West, who also was a football player at UTA. “All of us here are Mavericks.”
Elected officials, University administrators and student leaders cut the ribbon on West Hall, UTA’s newest residence hall, and The Commons, a dining facility replete with different restaurants and traditional menus. State Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, presented UTA President Vistasp Karbhari with two grand opening certificates celebrating the buildings.
The Commons is a $21 million, two-floor, 39,000-square-foot dining and meeting facility. It’s open to all UTA students, faculty and staff. West Hall is a $46.5 million, 534-bed residence hall, the first to open at UTA since 2012.
Last semester, UTA opened the 1,500-unit West Campus Parking Garage, just north of The Commons.
West said students are a part of UTA’s DNA and legacy now.
“You know what Mavericks are all about,” West said. “We know the best days are ahead for UTA. We’re going to make UTA the No. 1 university in the state.”
President Karbhari welcomed West, Tinderholt, and elected officials, which also included Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams, and council members Lana Wolff and Victoria Farrar-Myers.
“But I especially want to welcome the students,” said Karbhari, who added that the new facilities are for them. “This is another milestone, another transformation for us.”
He said UTA just welcomed its largest freshman class in its history.
“These two facilities will continue to serve and continue the trend of inspiring a greater sense of community and lead to even greater student success for our residential and our off-campus students,” Karbhari said.
The hundreds of students present seemed to agree.
Ayushi Mahiyar and Shilpi Mittal, two UTA graduate students, said the food in The Commons is great and there are a lot more places to meet and study in the new facility.
Taylor Bass, a UTA marketing sophomore, said he believes the new west campus buildings give UTA a youthful elegance.
“I think it gives the University more of a contemporary and modern look,” Bass said.
Sophomore Jiya Sachdev and freshman Rana Ali said the new buildings “look cool” and are “very modern.”