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Frisco Landing to open in spring

Frisco Landing to open in spring

Frisco Landing to open in spring
December 08
14:00 2022

The University of North Texas at Frisco is opening its first permanent building, Frisco Landing, on Jan. 17

Frisco Landing will hold new classrooms and study spaces for students and faculty.

The project is run by Wesley Randall, dean of New College at Frisco.

“We ultimately want to grow the Frisco campus to 25,000 students,” Randall said. “From a UNT perspective, we continue to grow, so Frisco gives us an opportunity to keep expanding.”

Working alongside Randall is Cornelius “Neil” Foote, the associate dean of Research, External Affairs and Community Engagement at UNT’s New College.

Foote’s primary goals in Frisco are to tell the story of New College, which opened at the end of 2015, and to identify partnerships with community organizations and businesses for student opportunities.

“Frisco landing is the first building that we expect to be many buildings that will be out there,” Foote said. “And in that boat, we’ll pick up all the programs that we’ve been teaching since 2016 here at Hall Park — move all those classes up to Frisco Landing.”

Image Source Grant Johnson/Community Impact Newspaper

Frisco Landing will be the first permanent building for the Frisco campus, which has rented spaces since 2016. The campus is expected to be about 135,000 sq feet with 2,500 students attending.

“I believe it’d be a very big positive impact for me and other students because it’s going to be a new campus with new resources — for example a recreational center and cafeteria,” said Heline Kakel, a student assistant and biology sophomore at UNT Frisco.

About $100 million has been invested into the new buildings. Frisco Landing includes floor-to-ceiling storefront windows, 69 huddle spaces, 840 parking spaces and a balcony lining the west side of the building.

“I think it’s going to be very helpful for all our students, especially for us in our current cohort and everything,” said Nicole Lau, a project design analysis freshman at New College. “We are a little tired of the old space.”

The university’s interest in Frisco comes from big tech companies moving there. The main goal is to provide relevant degrees industry partners know will secure jobs past college.

“From our perspective, us being in Frisco gives us a really good insight and partnership with the firms that really represent the North Texas economy and the future of North Texas,” Randall said. “You’ve got a city that’s trying to attract new businesses with big offices and great paying jobs.”

The Frisco campus programs will include data analytics, project design and analysis and sports/entertainment management, while others like engineering and performing arts stay in Denton.

“Frisco allows us to innovate without disrupting the main campus,” Randall said. “We can do it fast and agile at Frisco. We get to do it because it’s real close to a lot of high-tech partners that aren’t [close to Denton].”

The design of Frisco Landing is to prioritize team and project-based learning at New College. The new classrooms will have space for students to work in groups.

“We [have an] industry area where companies will be able to come by and set up shop to interact with our students,” Foote said. “There’ll be what we’re calling [a] kind of ‘maker’s area’ where students will be able to come in to do 3D printers and other things.”

The construction of Frisco Landing started in 2020 when COVID-19 caused building and construction costs to be lower. Despite the $100 million cost, construction went about $10-12 million under budget and is set to be ready for next semester.

“We’ve been able to be very smart in the construction of the building — we took advantage during COVID-19 and just moved forward,” Randall said. “Actually, $5 million was pulled out of the Frisco project because we were under budget to pay for part of the Multicultural Center in Denton.”

Frisco Landing is the beginning of many buildings being constructed over the allocated 100-acre land given by the city.

“This is the first building, but if you think of a campus that [in] five to 10 years can grow to 20,000 students with multiple buildings, it will pick up that energy and life of its own to complement what’s going on in Denton,” Foote said.

Image source: University of North Texas

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Joaquin Fernandez

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