EL PASO – The University of Texas at El Paso begins its centennial celebrations at the start of 2014 and students are excited about the changes the centennial is bringing to campus.
“I’ve seen the plans for the construction, and it looks like it will be worth it,” says sophomore UTEP student Eliana Grijalva. “The model for the Centennial Plaza looks really cool. I just can’t wait until construction is done,” she added. Other students agree that while the construction now is tedious, the end result looks like it will be well worth it.
The Centennial Plaza is designed to be an open area in the middle of campus, where Memorial Triangle previously was. University Avenue will be permanently closed through campus as part of the plans to make UTEP more pedestrian friendly for its 23,000 students.
In addition to the plaza where students will be able to stroll, socialize and relax, under the shade of native mesquite trees, Centennial Plaza also includes a hand-carved and hand-painted Lhakhang, a gift from the Kingdom of Bhutan to the people of the United States. The anticipated completion of construction is late summer to early fall of 2014, in time to host the western debut of Opera Bhutan.
The majority of construction is due to be completed by the fall of 2014, by the 100th anniversary of the founding of UTEP, on September 23rd. While celebrations for the centennial will happen throughout 2014, the fall of 2014 is when UTEP will unveil the Centennial Plaza, enjoy Minerpalooza and homecoming week, as well as other special ceremonies and festivities.
Says UTEP sophomore Victoria Rodriguez: “Construction’s not fun, but hopefully UTEP’s big birthday party will be.”