Dobie Center, named after J. Frank Dobie, is a privately owned twenty-seven story residence hall located on the University of Texas at Austin campus. In addition to being a private residence for students, Dobie also contains a two-story mall, restaurants, and specialty stores.
The property features a pool, fitness center, two sport courts, six elevators, and an industrial-styled cafeteria.
The building was designed by J. & G. Daverman and Associates in 1972 . Upon its completion, Dobie Center was the tallest building in Austin, surpassing the Texas State Capitol, which had held the title for nearly 90 years. Dobie was the first modernist building to exist on UT's campus .
The building underwent a US$10 million facelift in 1990 to replace its then brick façade by exposing the glass underneath. When classes began in the Fall 1989 semester would-be residents of Dobie Center were temporarily relocated to the Radisson Plaza Hotel.
On November 11, 2006 a fire, started by an improperly extinguished cigarette, broke out on the pool deck of Dobie Center causing an estimated $600,000 worth of damage. The pool deck reopened in late April, 2008. The fire was contained to an area outside of the residential tower. This structure was an old wooden deck that has been replaced by a concrete structure.
The Dobie Mall was completely remodeled by the Nix Group in the 90s and is now a hub of student activity and shopping . The mall is a two-story shopping and food center featuring a food court, stores, and even a chapel. The food court today features seating for 500 and various assorted independently-run food outlets.
In 2014 the Dobie Center became managed by Campus Evolution Villages, marking the start of over $4 million in renovations, including new hardwood floors, a cafeteria face-lift, and an updated movie and game room. However, there was controversy during this time due to allegations made by many students that Campus Evolution Villages did not hold their end of a bargain. .
Life at Dobie
The Dobie Center offers monthly resident events ranging from floor events to dorm-wide events. Annual traditions such as the volleyball tournaments and Casino Night are a huge draw for residents and Dobie alumni.
Dobie has a large social media presence which connects to students in the Austin area. Additionally, The University of Texas's campus and covered parking garage are draws for students looking for convenience.
There are resident assistants on every floor at Dobie, creating a welcoming atmosphere for college freshmen and beyond. Dobie also is a huge hub for international students.
Due to newer private dormitories such as the Callaway House or the recently remodeled Castilian, Dobie Center has struggled in recent years to fill up the entire building.
The Dobie Center is one of the only student high-rises with an unlimited meal plan.
The namesake of the Dobie Center, J. Frank Dobie, was an American folklorist, writer, and newspaper columnist.
Stores and restaurants
Some of the stores and restaurants inside Dobie Center include:
- Emiliano's Burrito Factory
- Dobie Market
- Princeton Review
- Hoa Hoa
- Mane Express
- Funny Nails
- Niki's Pizza
- Conscious Cravings
- Oma's Kitchen
- Resurrected Games
- ARMY Recruiting Office
- "About the Dobie Center". Dobie Center. Retrieved 2006-11-10.
- "Dobie Center to get $10 million face lift". The Daily Texan. January 11, 1989.
- "Radisson to house some Dobie tenants". The Daily Texan. August 4, 1989.
- "AFD finds Dobie fire started by cigarettes". The Daily Texan. 2006-11-16.
- "Michael Dell's view from the top". Austin American-Statesman. 2004-05-02. Archived from the original on 2011-06-07.
- "In Texas, a Focused Jeb Bush Stood Out From the Crowd". Austin American-Statesman. 2015-03-17.
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