Inside the caverns of Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium resides a private social club, which announced Monday that it had renewed its lease with the UT Athletic Department and will begin multi-million dollar renovations of its facilities on the sixth and seventh floors of the east side of the stadium.
Although the University of Texas Club’s space in the stadium is leased out by the UT Athletics Department, they are owned and operated by ClubCorp, a private corporation. The club is a branch of the Dallas-based corporation, which runs more than 150 business and recreational clubs throughout the United States, as well as Singapore and Beijing. The corporation also operates alumni clubs at other universities in the U.S., such as Texas Tech.
Jetta Felder, club member relations director, said the club currently has 3,200 members, who do not have to be UT alumni.
“We’re host to staff, faculty, alumni and business people from all over the Austin community,” Felder said.
The club has rented the space at the stadium for 15 years and, with the new lease, will hold the facilities for another 10 years. According to Joe Connell, general manager of the club, the goal of renovation is to revitalize the club, bringing a modern look to the facility.
“With these renovations, the club is going from traditional to transitional,” Connell said.
The plans will include a redesigned bar and dining center, as well as new banquet seating, media areas with higher technology and boardroom.
The renovations will cost more than $3 million and are set to be completed in May 2014. Funding for the remodeling project comes directly from investments in the club by ClubCorp.
“We are not a part of the school,” Connell said. “If people are thinking the state institution funds were generating this project, that is not the case.”
Members have access to dining, business services and work spaces throughout the two floors. Membership fees vary depending on the level of access to the club’s amenities.
Psychology sophomore Harlie Gonzalez said she found the name of the club misleading.
“When I first heard of it, I assumed it was a student social club or something along those lines,” Gonzalez said. “I didn’t expect what I found on the website.”