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Board of Trustees Hears Cherokee Farm Campus Proposal

March 09, 2009

MEMPHIS -- At the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees’ February meeting, designers presented the proposed master plan for the Cherokee Farm campus, the University's interdisciplinary research campus.

Led by Gresham, Smith and Partners, the master plan for the Cherokee Farm campus emphasizes design excellence and innovation throughout the site. The proposed master plan maintains mature trees, features green space throughout the site, and respects the archaeological areas along Lake Loudon. Use of sustainable design strategies for all aspects of the state-of-the-art campus is planned.

In 2007, UT officials announced plans to transform Cherokee Farm, a former dairy farm of almost 200 acres, into a highly interactive research campus for UT to leverage relationships with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and public and private partners into expanded scientific investigation.

"In moving forward with this project, the University is taking advantage of a critical and unprecedented growth opportunity. The Cherokee Farm campus will further enhance our ability to engage and integrate our resources and those of our partners at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in a way that has already attracted the interest of some exciting and leading private-sector innovators," Executive Vice President and Vice President for Research David Millhorn said.

"Those innovators recognize the value of proximity to UT-ORNL scientists and expertise in turning advanced scientific ideas into enterprising realities," he added.

The new campus will promote interdisciplinary research focused on solving nationally significant problems and will seek to stimulate the local, state and regional economies by turning scientific advancements into marketable businesses with good jobs.

Design proposals for the new campus come during challenging economic times for the University, but restricted funding specifically designated for infrastructure was approved two years ago. The state approved a one-time capital expenditure of $32 million for campus infrastructure, such as streets and utilities, in 2007.

A broad coalition of community representatives, business leaders, UT officials, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory and UT Medical Center staff has overseen the development of the design proposal.

The 13-member Cherokee Farm Campus Steering Committee and the 26-member Cherokee Farm Campus Advisory Committee have given their input on the design principles, master planning, sustainability and access issues. The Advisory Committee will continue to receive updates and provide their input as the design, plan and campus take shape.

Contacts:

Gina Stafford, (865) 974-0741, stafford@tennessee.edu

David Smith, (865) 974-1274, dasmith@tennessee.edu