New residence hall groundbreaking ceremony paves way for student growth

Feb 29, 2024

University officials stood in front of piles of dirt Wednesday — shovels in hand, coats keeping them warm in mid-40 degree weather, and blue, white and orange balloons behind them.

By August 2025, officials say the West Campus land area they stand on will be home to Maverick Hall, a new $116.2 million residential hall housing 654 students.

“When it opens in 2025, Maverick Hall will join its neighbor, West Hall, in redefining the residential experience at UTA,” said Lowell Davis, vice president of Student Affairs.

The resident hall will offer student engagement areas, innovative technology, centralized gathering spots and open kitchens on each floor to encourage connections among students, Davis said.

Maverick Hall will be the tallest residence hall on campus, standing five stories tall, he said. The hall will have a team of on-site staff, including a residence director, community director and 20 resident assistants who will be there to support students academically and socially.

University housing offers students numerous advantages like making lifelong friendships and learning to be outstanding members of the community, Davis said.

“Students that stayed with university housing for four or more years have a greater than 90% graduation rate,” Davis said. “This is a success story that makes us very proud.”

Student Body President Daniela Pedraja said she moved into Vandergriff Hall in August 2021 and has since had many experiences with university housing engraved in her mind. Nothing beats a packet of ramen from a dorm room microwave, she said, eliciting laughter from the small crowd watching the groundbreaking.

“I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe, I cried so much that my tears ran out, I studied so hard the sun started coming up by the time that I finished,” Pedraja said. “I learned so much about myself living in an area surrounded by students, supported by staff and all of the resources on campus.”

All students deserve to have the opportunity to live in a residence hall if they choose, she said.

The hall is part of UTA’s 2030 “Shared Dreams, Bright Futures” strategic plan, President Jennifer Cowley said at the ceremony. UTA’s buildings are more than just classrooms and labs — they’re a place to build community.

“Collaboration, community of belonging, excellence, innovation and integrity are the values at the heart of UTA’s experience and our new Maverick Hall will embody those values for the students that live here,” Cowley said.