The Legacy Of The Strip


Tristan Rice, Staff Writer

For many decades, students on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus have visited Cumberland Avenue, also known as The Strip. The Strip is loaded with many fast-food restaurants, mini-markets, and bars. Every night, Cumberland Avenue is packed with students lined down the street trying to get into the most popular bars.

The Strip has become one of the most notable parts of attending the University of Tennessee Knoxville. The Strip has become a gem for many, but saddening news of renovation has come to light.

The upcoming project is adding up to twenty-four lots full of new structures. A central building, which is planned to be 10 stories, will be put in between 19th and 20th street to be able to host new tenants. 

A building next door plans to be eight stories tall with 168 units, and another plans to be eight stories with 237 units. Although this opens more space for residents, students are at a loss of beloved businesses. At the cost of bringing on the new developments, students will be losing fan favorites like Mellow Mushroom, Cook Out, and Insomnia Cookies.

Supporting this large influx of new student accommodations, plans to create a large garage are in place. The incoming central garage will be located behind the main building with would come with shared ownership with neighboring buildings. Covenant Health, which is connected with Fort Sanders Medical Center, will be signed to own 212 spots in the new garage. East Tennessee Children’s Hospital has also been offered to own 85 to 90 spots.

Incoming students for the approaching fall 2023 semester have mixed feelings about the incoming project. Students around the school who have plans of attending or enjoy visiting The Strip were asked about their thoughts on the renovation. Mckenzie Powell (12) wasn’t on board.

“I feel like with The Strip being removed, the food choices will become very limited, as there will be left businesses and higher congested areas for food,” Powell said.

Seniors are planning and deciding whether or not to attend the university with this upcoming project; however, juniors will be able to see the end result of the construction before they go off to college. Sarajane Weber (11) has dreams of attending the university, but the news of the construction leaves her feelings in the air.

“I am very devastated that we are losing all of the businesses, but I do believe that we are in need of more housing,” Weber said.

Fellow juniors who are planning to attend believe that the construction is needed and will be for the greater good. Ruthie Davis (11) keeps an open mind for more possible expansions following the renovation.

“I think that the project is needed, as students will have more opportunities for housing, and students won’t be forced to stay in hotels. I believe that even though many businesses are closing, I think they will still manage to add some spread around campus,” Davis said.

As extensive construction has begun underway for the incoming residency halls and parking garage, all that’s left is to wait and see how it turns out. Although many students are upset by the loss of businesses on Cumberland Avenue, the memories will live on for decades to come. The future of the campus is open to hundreds of ideas for future projects that may support the students in many other ways.