TCU begins utility work on new dorms, dining hall


Architectural model of the two new dorms and one new dining hall to be located behind Neeley. (Photo courtesy of Craig Allen)

By Allie Brown, Staff Writer

TCU has officially begun utility work in preparation for the construction of two new dorms and one new dining hall on the east side of campus, directly behind the Neeley School of Business.

“Those residence halls will house about 286 students and a dining center there, which will have enough seating for about 550 students,” said Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Kathy Cavins-Tull.

Right now, TCU is only locating and moving utilities. This underground work is necessary to support the building projects.

Groundbreaking is predicted to occur in January or February of 2023, said Cavins-Tull.

The new dorms and dining hall are projected to be open for use in the 2024 fall semester.

The exterior look and feel of these new dorms will be similar to TCU’s existing residence halls, but the interiors will have their own unique twist.

“The way the floor is laid out and the way the rooms are laid out is very different,” said Executive Director for Housing and Fraternity and Sorority Life Craig Allen. “We’ll have more of what we would call pod concept, where you have cluster of rooms that share a bathroom and some community space, and then another cluster of rooms versus a long corridor with rooms on each side.”

The new dining hall will be open to all students and faculty and is going to look different compared to existing dining halls at TCU.

“It’ll be used like Market Square,” Cavins-Tull said. “So you swipe in, and then you eat anything you like and as much as you care to eat inside […] But they’ll have different stations added.”

Cavins-Tull said some of the food stations expected in the new dining hall include international foods, a bakery and coffee station, grilled foods and more.

Allen described the new dining hall as a similar concept to the food court in Union Station in Washington, D.C.

Despite new and exciting construction underway, the question of commuter parking changes remains.

TCU is building the new dorms and dining hall on a reserved lot next to several commuter parking lots.

Allen said parking concerns are normal when constructing new buildings on campus.

“If you look at the history of parking lots on our campus, I mean, they are placeholders for future buildings,” Allen said. “So I mean, if you look at Worth Hills, there used to be thousands of parking spots all around the outsides of buildings. That doesn’t exist anymore.”

Cavins-Tull said the current plan is to relocate the reserved parking spaces to a different lot nearby. The university will not be re-designating a commuter lot for first-year students who live in these dorms. Instead, these students will be asked to park in lot four across campus.

However, there is active conversation with TCU’s parking consultants about this matter, and all information is subject to change.

Information about parking, the new dining hall and new residence halls will become more concrete in the coming months as TCU finalizes plans to start construction next year.