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Facilities Planning and Construction Records

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: UASC.UA.017

Scope and Contents

The Facilities Planning and Construction Records include correspondence, reports, event invitations and programs, policy documents, construction bids, photographs, audiovisual materials, blueprints, concept drawings, and exhibit posters relating to construction projects and renovations across the University of Texas at Tyler’s three campuses in Tyler, Longview, and Palestine from 1973-2010. Information includes construction specifications for various sites, project bids, and details about the architects and contractors involved with specific projects. The records were transferred to the University Archives and Special Collections Department from the UT Tyler Physical Plant, located on the main Tyler campus. The collection includes significant materials relating to construction projects, dedications, and groundbreaking ceremonies at the Tyler campus, including the original Phase I and Phase II construction projects at 3900 University Blvd; the Louise Herrington Patriot Center; Mike Harvey Lake; the Fine Art Complex; the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center; the Ralph and Mary J. Spence Fountain and Plaza; the Dub and B.J. Riter Millennium Carillon Tower and Plaza; and the Ratliff Engineering Complex (RBS and RBN). The collection also comprises materials relating to the development, planning, construction and dedication of the Longview satellite campus and construction of the Palestine campus.

Note: This collection was updated with new materials on March 12, 2019.


  • Creation: 1973-2010
  • Other: Date acquired: 2011-03-03


Biographical or Historical Information

The 62nd Texas Legislature approved a bill in 1971 to create Tyler State College (TSC), a two year upper division institution serving the 14-county East Texas Planning Region. With classes provisionally located in the former Roberts Junior High building on Bertha Street, the TSC Board of Regents established a three member Site Planning Committee to evaluate future campus locations. After reviewing ten sites submitted by members of the community, the Board of Regents selected a 204 acre plot of land donated by Tyler philanthropists James S. Hudnall, George W. Pirtle, and Isadore Roosth. Architect Caudill Rowlett Scott was hired to design the original campus layout for TSC. Phase I of construction (1974-1977) included the Physical Plant complex (PHY), the Sciences and Mathematics building (currently Hudnall-Pirtle-Roosth or HPR), the Biology, Education and Psychology Building (BEP), the Student Center (currently the University Center or UC), the Administration Building (the James H. Stewart Administration Building or ADM), and the Physical and Health Education building (PHE). TSC became Texas Eastern University (TEU) in 1975. Phase II (1977-1980) included original construction on the Business Building (BUS), a greenhouse, and the Robert R. Muntz Library as well as final additions to the Sciences and Mathematics building. Construction on the upper and lower levels of Mike Harvey Lake began in 1977. In 1979, TEU joined the University of Texas System as the University of Texas at Tyler (UT Tyler). The campus at 3900 University Boulevard has seen several additions, expansions, and renovations since 1980. The Summers Tennis Center was dedicated on Tuesday, September 30, 1986. The Fine Art Complex (ARC), originally constructed in fall 1992, was expanded to 29,000 square feet in 2009. The University Pines Apartments (UPA) were constructed near the campus with private funding in 1993. The University hosted a groundbreaking ceremony for the $22 million R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center (FAC) in 1995. Construction continued on the Cowan Center through 1997. The Ralph and Mary John Spence Fountain and Plaza was dedicated in 2000. The A.W. and B.J. Riter Millennium Carillon Tower and Plaza was completed in 2001. Officials broke ground for the 37,000 square foot David G. and Jacqueline M. Braithwaite Building (BRB) in August 2002. The building opened for classes in fall 2003. The University held a groundbreaking ceremony for the Health and Kinesiology Physical Education Complex, also known as the Patriot Center, on March 25, 2002. In April 2003, the 127,312 square foot facility was formally dedicated as the Louise Herrington Patriot Center (HPC). Construction began on the 158,000 square foot Bill Ratliff Engineering and Science Complex and an adjacent power plant (PPN/PPS) in early 2004. Ratliff Building South (RBS) opened for classes in fall 2006 and the Ratliff Building North (RBN) opened in 2008. The Patriot Village student apartments (PVL) opened in 2004. The University of Texas Health Clinic (UHC), a collaboration between UT Tyler and UT Health Northeast, opened in 2004; the Health Clinic underwent renovations in 2005 and 2013. The $12 million Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Z. Ornelas Residence Hall, a five-story student housing facility, opened to student residents in fall 2006. The UT Tyler Ballpark (BPK), Bob and Mary Irwin Baseball Field, and the Citizens First Bank Perkins Soccer Complex were dedicated in 2006. 700 new stadium seats were added to Irwin Field in summer 2009. The Muntz Library Garden opened for student use in 2009. A $15 million three-story University Center addition was completed in fall 2008. Renovation continued on the existing University Center facilities from fall 2008 through Fall 2010. In August 2010, Nouveau Construction began renovating the second floor of the Administration Building to provide a single center for student business services and enrollment management. In addition to its central campus in Tyler, UT Tyler maintains regional campuses in Longview, Texas and Palestine, Texas. UT Tyler established its Palestine program in 1995, borrowing classroom space from Trinity Valley Community College. In fall 1996, UT Tyler expanded to a new campus at 1820 West Spring Street. Construction of an $8 million addition was completed in fall 2010. The UT Tyler Longview University Center (LUC) opened in 2000. Additional renovations and construction projects have taken place since 2010, but they are not addressed in the scope of this collection. These include an expansion to the Braithwaite Nursing Building, an expansion to the HEP/BPR complex, and purchase of the Ornelas Activity Center (OAC). The university also maintains several modular buildings and auxiliary buildings near campus. Note written by Samantha Winn.


5.00 Linear Feet

19 oversized items, 14 record boxes of documents and photographs, 2 scrapbooks, 1 U-matic cassette tape, 6 VHS cassette tapes, 1 CD-ROM other_unmapped

8.00 Items

0.00 unknown

0.00 unknown

5.00 Linear Feet

5.00 Items

0.00 unknown

Language of Materials



Series I. Tyler Campus   Sub-Series A. Documents   Sub-Series B. Photographs   Sub-Series C. Audiovisual Series II. Longview Campus   Sub-Series A. Documents   Sub-Series B. Photographs Series III. Palestine Campus

Technical Access Requirements

Video cassettes require conversion before use; CD-ROM requires computer to view.

Source of Acquisition

Physical Plant

Method of Acquisition

Materials in this collection were acquired as part of a collection of university materials from the records room at the UT Tyler Physical Plant.

Related Materials

The Robert R. Muntz Library maintains the original campus model as a permanent exhibit on the 2nd floor. Additional records relating to campus construction may be found in the Board of Regents Records, 1971-2006.

Samantha Winn
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the The University of Texas at Tyler University Archives and Special Collections Department Repository