University of North Texas to build branch campus in Frisco

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The city of Frisco says “the eagle has landed” in reference to the University of North Texas’ plan to build a new branch campus there that would serve 5,000 students.

It’s being called a public-public partnership by officials. The city worked very closely with the university and actually gave them some land at no cost that will be used for the new campus. Both sides say it's a win-win.

The new addition will bring UNT closer to a booming population in Frisco and bring more education opportunities to its residents.

Resident Justin Burt found out that 100 acres of land across the street from the auto shop he works at will soon be a college campus.

“Frisco has grown a lot — big time,” he said.

“I'll put this as what I consider one of the top things to happen in Frisco's history,” said Mayor Jeff Cheney.

At a raucous news conference on Tuesday complete with Scrappy the Eagle, UNT and city officials revealed how the partnership will all work. UNT will build its campus on 100 acres of land near the corner of Preston Road and Panthers Creek Parkway.

The university is also purchasing a Frisco Economic Development Corporation-owned building just down the road for about $8.5 million. UNT says it could become a standalone campus over time.

“We anticipate as time goes on, more and more students will take their classes solely in Frisco,” said UNT President Neal Smatresk. “And building a new campus is going to be a great way to really build that culture from the ground up.”

The plans for a second campus are of little surprise for some in a rapidly-growing Frisco. The city, once a quiet suburb, will now largely be built out over the next 30 years.

“It would be a real disservice for Frisco not to have this kind of campus,” Smatresk said.

And for people like Burt, who is a father of two, it’s another opportunity sprouting up in an area that's booming.

“That’s actually really nice. It keeps them close to the house,” Burt said. “They aren't moving off far away from you, especially a big college like that. That’s really nice.”

Construction is slated to start no later than March 2022.