Back to the Future

There is some sentiment on the University of Tennessee's Knoxville campus to return to some of the Gothic architecture of the earlier days of the university. More buildings that look like Ayres Hall, instead of the modern buildings of recent vintage.

Construction of the UTK campus, however, has always been under the purview of the Board of Trustees and the university system, rather than the Knoxville campus. The university system is under the control of the State Building Commission, which signs off on all state buildings.

Chancellor Jimmy Cheek would like his staff to have more input and control over the shape and the look of new buildings. People who disagree say it's too late for the university to go back and become a quaint Ivy-covered campus of days gone by. It's more expensive and the campus is already checkered with a variety of architectural styles.

There are also a couple of construction projects already under way.

The State Building Commission is composed of the governor, the lieutenant governor, the speaker of the house, and the constitutional officers. The governor in this case is Bill Haslam, whose family money has been funding the construction of the latest additions to the campus.