North Texas Daily

UNT breaks ground on Rawlins Hall

UNT breaks ground on Rawlins Hall

UNT breaks ground on Rawlins Hall
October 19
18:58 2014

Linda Kessler / Intern Writer

Deans, students, former and past presidents and the UNT community gathered at the Gateway arch Saturday to celebrate groundbreaking the new Honors residence hall which began construction a few months ago. The hall will be named after previous UNT President V. Lane Rawlins.

“The naming of the building is probably the greatest honor I’ve ever received,” Rawlins said. “I don’t feel that I deserve this honor because, having a building named after you, how do you deserve that? But perhaps this building for students exemplifies what I tried to stand for and still try to stand for — A superior education for this generation.”

Honors sophomore Bari Elfenbein said the ability to begin her college experience with a wonderful place to live and study was important to her and her family.

“The Honors Hall has presented me with a home,” Elfenbein said. “I felt like a part of a small community. Unfortunately, only 200 students are given this special opportunity and living experience. The creation of Rawlins Hall will be another advancement for the UNT Honors program. The most important aspect is that we now can house an additional 500 students.”

Chancellor Lee Jackson agreed, but said the project isn’t without its difficulties.

“This project had an exceptional problem in financing because of the timing,” Jackson said. “Our whole finance team did some pretty extraordinary things to arrange financing so we could stay on schedule.”


Construction on Rawlins Hall started a few months ago and is estimated to be complete by fall 2015.

Associate vice president of auxiliary services Tom Rufer said Rawlins Hall has a budget of around $37 million. The hall will include its own library.

Honors College dean Gloria Cox is excited for the forthcoming hall and the influx of students into the Honors program.

“I hope they’ll say that being a part of the Honors community has enriched their learning experience,” she said.

UNT President Neal Smatresk said this project will change the face of campus.

“The community becomes stronger as we add residential living. Our students become more successful,” Smatresk said. “So what’s not to like? This is a wonderful opportunity.”

Housing director Betsy Warren estimates the new hall should open up fall of 2015.

Featured Image: A John Deere tractors hauls building materials and dirt around the Rawlins Hall construction site on Monday afternoon. Photos by Harris Buchanan – Staff Photographer

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North Texas Daily

North Texas Daily

The North Texas Daily is the official student newspaper of the University of North Texas, proudly serving UNT and the Denton community since 1916.

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