Fine Arts Center Reopens After Four Years of Renovations

For the Department of Performing Arts, it was a double whammy.

In 2018, renovations began to the department’s home in the UT Chattanooga Fine Arts Center. Faculty, students and staff moved to seven different buildings around campus, including Cadek Hall, the Barr Building and even the Caretaker’s House behind Patten House on Palmetto Street.

In fall semester 2020, renovations to the office space in the Fine Arts Center were mostly completed, and they moved back in. Then COVID-19 hit.

“We were already tired when COVID hit and looking so forward to, ‘We’re going to be back in our building. It’s going to be back to normal,’” says Steve Ray, head of the Department of Theatre.

Two years later—and four years in all—normality has returned. The 456-seat Roland Hayes Concert Hall and the 256- seat Dorothy Hackett Ward Theatre are finished, and performances are returning.

“It has been a tough few years during the renovation, and the pandemic didn’t help, but things were better when we could move back into the teaching spaces of the building,” says Kenyon Wilson, interim head of the Department of Performing Arts.

UTC Hails EPB’s 25-Gig Internet Upgrade

Wireless access is so ever-present these days that people don’t notice it’s there until it’s not. In August, EPB announced it’s taking its fiber-optic network from the 10-gig capacity it established in 2015 up to 25 gigs.

According to EPB, Chattanooga’s utility provider, the need for faster networks is expected to grow 50 percent a year as cloud-based applications continue to expand. A 25-gig network’s capacity means more than 3,000 laptops can simultaneously and smoothly stream ultra-high video without buffering or lag.

The university already uses EPB’s 10-gig network, and an increase to 25 gigs will increase efficiency and ease of use, says Vicki Farnsworth, UTC chief information officer and interim vice chancellor for finance and administration.
“It’s part of the evolution of moving things forward,” she says.

WUTC Radio Moves to the Penthouse

“WUTC is now in the clouds, high above the city.”

Those were among the first words spoken by WUTC-FM’s Richard Winham on Aug. 29. He officially announced the station’s move after 30 years on ground floor in Cadek Hall at UT Chattanooga State Office Building at 540 McCallie Ave.

WUTC-FM/88.1, owned and operated by UTC, is Chattanooga’s National Public Radio station.

Richard Winham broadcasts from WUTC-FM’s new station space.
Richard Winham broadcasts from WUTC-FM’s new station space.

Renovations started in January 2020, and moving into a new space is “a great thing for my employees,” says Station Manager Bryan Lane.

Lane says renovations for the new location cost about $102,000, and new equipment was more than $60,000. The office furniture was retrieved from surplus no longer in use on campus.