From several vantage points of UNT's four-story Frisco Landing building, students have an eagle-eye view of the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth area. They also have access to state-of-the-art classrooms and study spaces where they can create the vision for their future -- many working directly with industry partners who are collaborating at the campus.
Born from a partnership between the University of North Texas and the City of Frisco, the initial 100-acre gift from the city allowed UNT to move forward with master planning to provide the first four-year institution for the booming population in Collin County. In 2016, UNT began offering classes in Frisco at locations including Hall Park and Inspire Park.
The opening of Frisco Landing, which sits at the southwest corner of Preston Road and Panther Creek Parkway, marks the latest chapter in UNT's presence in Collin County, which allows UNT to offer convenient access to the opportunities that a UNT education provides for those in the North Texas region and beyond.
"Like the City of Frisco, we at UNT like to dream big," Smatresk says. "We are on this beautiful plot of land on one of the most exciting corners of the city, a corner of the city that will be bursting with economic development -- with entertainment, recreational opportunities.
"This campus is ready to feed employers and support the industry and economic development of this region."
Frisco Landing is the first permanent building on the branch campus and offers many of the 27 undergraduate and master's level programs taught in Frisco. Students have the opportunity to participate in partnerships with the Dallas Cowboys, PGA, TIAA and other corporations.
The campus features space that focuses on collaboration, transparency and open communication. It includes 69 "huddle rooms" that allow for small to medium-sized groups to collaborate, as well as interactive classrooms, a makerspace filled with the latest technology, a library, fitness center and café. It even boasts an event space that can host up 300 people with seating and standing room.
"Soaring," a suspended sculpture, in a first-of-its-kind collaboration, was designed by College of Visual Arts and Design student Archit Karkare, and pays homage to the Indigenous Peoples upon whose land UNT at Frisco resides. There also is an amphitheater and a tower that will be lit green for Mean Green athletic victories and wins of other types for UNT at Frisco's branch campus.
Frisco Landing and the area surrounding it provides a space for students to learn and be creative.
"This space is much more than just a building, it is a symbol -- a symbol of how we want to serve our students by meeting them where they are, by using innovative concepts for project-based learning, corporate involvement and engagement with industry leaders, and by providing the kind of access that these students have only dreamed of having before," UNT System Board of Regents Chair Laura Wright ('82, '82 M.S.) says. "As we open this building, we also open the futures of all of the students who will be passing through these halls."