UT-Tyler is betting on a new building to make a big impact on the school. The new Louise Herrington Patriot Center is home to the basketball and volleyball teams. For Tuesday night's women's basketball game, it's an athletic venue, but the largest building on campus provides something for everyone. It's actually a three part building, designed to be the centerpiece of campus. It houses a 6,300 square feet fitness center, including free weights, workout machines, racquetball courts, dance studio and suspended walking/jogging track. It also is the new home for the health and kinesiology department, providing classrooms and labs. The heated pool and spa acts as both recreation and a tool for research. Not to mention, the 2000 seat convocation center. Both students and university officials say this building changes the face of UT-Tyler as we know it.
"It gives me something to do in my off time, when I'm not studying," says UT-Tyler student Corey Petty. "And, it's the nicest facility they have out here and it was one of the reasons I came to this school because I saw the athletics center they built."
"There's a lot more stuff for us to do here on campus and it also builds community," adds student Rebekah Rivera. "We're all together here. We come in and out and we see each other all the time here at the athletic center, so I think it really has built community here."
"A full fledged, strong, regional university has to have a full compliment of activities and great student life on campus," says UT-Tyler president Rodney Mabry. "And, the Herrington Patriot center and all of the pieces of it help us make that happen."