UT's aging student center set to be torn down

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - University of Tennessee's aging student center is set to be torn down and replaced with a bigger building with more meeting space, school officials said.

The Carolyn P. Brown Memorial University Center opened in 1954 and has been the scene of Vietnam War protest rallies and countless other campus gatherings.

But schools officials say the building has some inadequacies and they've made long-term plans to tear down the structure and replace it with a larger facility.

The new student center is expected to cost $70 million and construction is scheduled to begin in 2011.

"The plans are driven by the age of the building and its infrastructure, which, to be honest, is substandard," said Tim Rogers, UT vice chancellor for student affairs. "And we have a need for meeting space for students."

Assistant Vice Chancellor Ken Stoner, executive director of university housing, said the student body has grown since the building's construction and it isn't able to handle the demands for use.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)