Work On SMU’s New Moody Hall Ready to Get Underway

Construction on the new four-story Frances Anne Moody Hall building, which will house the Moody graduate school at SMU, is expected to be well underway by the end of the year. 

SMU officials hope to open the building by summer 2023.

In June, the University Park City Council approved a zoning change of university-owned property between McFarlin Boulevard, University Boulevard, Airline Road, and Dublin Street to allow for the project. 

The lost parking lot on Airline will be replaced with a new lot built to the east where about 23 homes are now and include some area reserved as green space.

University Park Communications and Marketing Director Steve Mace said SMU has told the city plans include:

• Testing and abatement in July and early August.

• Beginning demolition in late August or early September.

• Completing demolition by late October. 

The university had requested the rezoning of the western portion of university-owned property between McFarlin Boulevard, University Boulevard, Airline Road, and Dublin Street to UC-1 (which allows for a maximum building height of 120 feet), the middle portion to be rezoned UC-2 (which allows for a maximum nonresidential building height of 55 feet), and the eastern portion along Dublin to be rezoned UC-3 (which allows for a maximum building height of 35 feet). 

In June, the University Park City Council approved a zoning change of university-owned property between McFarlin Boulevard, University Boulevard, Airline Road, and Dublin Street to allow for the new Frances Anne Moody Hall building. (PHOTO: Courtesy City of University Park)

The motion approved by the city council granting the zoning change included an amendment from Mayor Pro Tem Randy Biddle that the university must provide the city with a signed deed restriction prohibiting a parking structure on the UC-2 portion of the site.  

Michael Molina, SMU associate vice president of facilities planning and management/university architect, told city council members that the construction of Moody Hall is “critical” to increasing the university’s standing nationally as a research university.

“It will consolidate all of our doctoral candidates into one location for interdisciplinary work, which is very critical to this achievement,” he said. 

The new graduate school was also made possible through a $100 million gift from the Moody Foundation. 

“We’re announcing the next stage in SMU’s development — a significant and unprecedented investment in the university’s graduate and doctoral programs and faculty research programs, which will propel SMU to even greater heights of national prominence,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner said at the time of the Moody Foundation gift. “I’m thrilled to announce today the Moody Foundation is partnering with SMU to build on our rich academic heritage to accentuate the development of our graduate programs. In making this investment, the Moody Foundation acknowledges that SMU has made dramatic progress in our pursuit of academic distinction.”

Rachel Snyder

Rachel Snyder, deputy editor at People Newspapers, joined the staff in 2019, returning to her native Dallas-Fort Worth after starting her career at community newspapers in Oklahoma. One of her stories won first place in its category in the Oklahoma Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest in 2018. She’s a fan of puns and community journalism, not necessarily in that order. You can reach her at [email protected]

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