April 24, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- Construction has begun on the Jerry R. Junkins Electrical Engineering Building at Airline Road and Dyer Street as part of a long-term strategic plan to expand the engineering program at Southern Methodist University.

When completed in fall 2002, the new Junkins Building will be a three-story, 53,664-square-foot facility housing classrooms, faculty and graduate student offices, and instructional and research laboratories. It will include a semiconductor and optoelectronics laboratory, a signal processing and wireless communications lab, a speech and image processing lab, a microwave and microstrip antenna lab, a networking telecommunications lab and a biomedical research lab.

The start of construction on the Junkins Building has necessitated the closing of the Caruth Parking Lot east of Caruth Hall. Those who have been parking there may use either the Moody Garage or Dedman 3 Lot south of Dedman Center.

From late May through early August, Dyer, Ownby Drive and Binkley Avenue in the vicinity of the new engineering building will be closed periodically to accommodate construction activities. The university will make every effort to notify the campus community in advance when street closings will occur.

The intersection of Airline Road and Daniel, which has been closed for several weeks because of construction, will reopen in early May, according to University Park officials.

In fall 2001, construction of the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building will begin adjacent to the Junkins Building on Airline Road. The Blanton Building, due for completion in spring 2003, will house Information Technology Services and Enrollment Services. The construction of the Blanton Building will require demolition of Engineering Lab 1 and the relocation of some School of Engineering facilities to the Transition Building at the southeast corner of Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports.

In addition, construction of Doak Walker Plaza -- at the northeast corner of Ford Stadium -- will be completed by fall 2001.

Construction-related traffic for the Junkins Building and the Blanton Building will enter and exit the campus along SMU Boulevard. Similar traffic involved in creating Doak Walker Plaza will enter the campus on Airline from Mockingbird Lane.

The Law School Garage, on the northeast corner of Hillcrest and Daniel Avenues, is scheduled for completion in August 2001. The 500-space garage will provide parking relief for SMU's northwest quadrant.

Dedman Life Sciences Building, on Airline Road south of Daniel Avenue, will be completed by the start of classes for spring 2002. The three-story building will be one of the most modern and technologically advanced facilities of its kind in the region. Traffic flow along Airline in the vicinity of the project will continue to be restricted, and occasionally disrupted, during the duration of the project.

The new buildings are among a series of construction projects that are enhancing SMU's educational, cultural and recreational assets. Questions or concerns about construction on the SMU campus should be directed to Gary Shultz of the Office of Public Affairs at gshultz@mail.smu.edu