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ETSU spending big to improve campus facilities

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JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - ETSU's new football stadium is the most high profile construction project going on right now, but it's just one of several million dollar projects the school is funding.

"It's very exciting to see faculty have enhanced spaces, to see students learning or living or socializing in enhanced spaces," Jeremy Ross, the university's Chief Operating Officer says.

Over the next few years, ETSU's campus will undergo a major facelift. The school is committed to spending $150 to $200 million dollars on facility upgrades and renovations.

$53 million dollars will be spent improving the Culp Center, which Ross says will be finished by the winter of 2019.

"It will be on par and nicer and serve our students as well or better than many many universities," he says.

Another $53 million will go towards building the Fine Arts Center. Construction is set to begin on that project this fall, and we've learned it will also be completed in the winter of 2019.

"The Fine Arts Center will serve our students, engage many people, hundreds of thousands of people in this region for many years to come," Ross says.

A $23 million dollar renovation to Lamb Hall is designed to keep up with the university's rapidly growing health program.

The new football stadium on campus also carries a $23 million dollar price tag.

However, students say there is a major problem on campus they hope the school can fix.

"I've drove around campus for up to half an hour and haven't found parking," Zimra Winters, an ETSU student says.

"It's impossible to find parking," Isayah Balaicuis, another ETSU student says.

"We have to park all the way down here as it is now," Katie Schrader, an ETSU junior says. "It's so far from the middle of campus."

Ross says he and others are well aware of the parking problem.

"It's in the master planning effort," he says. "As we grow and as these buildings come up, we absolutely thought of [parking] and it will be something we address."

Ross would also say parking is considered in every campus improvement project the school approves.

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