Millions of dollars in infrastructure upgrades coming to TSU campus

Posted at 5:56 AM, Jan 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-17 20:32:15-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A much-needed facelift is coming to Tennessee State University's campus. Big plans have been unveiled to revitalize on-campus facilities and infrastructure.

TSU officials want to ensure that during this time, when the university is booming, students are getting a high-quality experience. Work will be happening on many buildings including McCord, Jackson, and Elliot Halls, as well as Boswell, Davis Humanities, and Harold Love.

The projects will replace windows and doors, upgrade mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, and improve other interior areas of the buildings.

TSU is pulling from the recent $250 million state allocation to address maintenance and safety issues. The university will be working to fix the cause of a lot of infrastructure problems like leaking windows and corroded pipes. Then once completed, TSU officials said they'll get to work on the interior.

Tennessee State University is one of the oldest colleges in Nashville, and you can see that age on a few of the buildings. TSU officials say long-overdue repairs and upgrades are now on the way after decades of neglect by the state.

"These six buildings are the six buildings that have the most complaints about from the student body, and they have listened, and I appreciate that a lot," said Aliyah Holmes, student government vice president.

Thanks to $250 million dollars from the state, improvements are finally being made.

Governor Bill Lee and lawmakers allocated $250 million in funding last spring for infrastructure improvements including outdoor lighting, HVAC system upgrades, and interior renovations.

"We talk about it being a beautiful campus, but we also want it to be a functional campus. We want the campus to be able to expand. We want the campus to be comfortable inside and out," said Curtis Johnson, Chief of Staff and Associate Vice President of Administration.

This is the largest one-time investment to a historically black university by a state.

Some of these renovations are already underway.

University officials say it is best to begin with buildings that have reached or are near their life expectancy.

Students said they're excited for what's to come at one of the most influential HBCUs in the southeast.

"As everything is coming onto campus, the building that I'm most excited about with this money being spent on, I will say, is the Davis Community Building. Because, for one, we do use that building a lot! For classes as well as events," said one student. "Student engagement at TSU is such an important aspect and that is also the aspect that keeps students wanting to come here, which is such an amazing opportunity."

Officials said they hope the project will not only help their recent housing crisis but also strengthen the connection between the college and its students.