The first day of spring classes at the University of Tennessee at Martin also signaled opening day for the university’s new Latimer-Smith Engineering and Science Building. A $6.5 million gift by Bill and Carol Latimer, of Union City, made the $65 million, 120,000-square-foot, three-story building possible. The building was dedicated Oct. 27 last fall, and preparations for this first day in the facility have been underway since.
The October dedication coincided with the University of Tennessee Board of Trustees fall meeting held in the Boling University Center. Earlier that afternoon, board members approved a request by Bill Latimer to add Dr. Bob Smith’s name to the building in recognition of the former UT Martin chancellor’s service during a critical period in the university’s history.
The Latimer gift provided the 10% match required by the state for construction of the state-of-the-art facility, and ground was officially broken Sept. 18, 2020. The Latimer-Smith Building houses the departments of chemistry and physics, computer science, engineering, mathematics and statistics, and the pre-professional health sciences program. The building features classrooms, laboratories, offices, a small observatory, and amenities for students and visitors.
Dr. Nancy Buschhaus, interim dean for the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences, reminded the university community in an email message that the building is “now fully operational and holding classes in our new spaces.”
“Come by and sit awhile in some of the study spaces located on all three floors or stop by the Sodexo Café at the entrance of the building,” she wrote. “… Our college is honored to be a part of this new student-friendly building space.”