Under the direction of Campus Engineer, Randy Hurt, the Engineering department works side-by-side with the Campus Planning & Construction team as a liaison on Capital Projects, address and resolves campus technical problems, and oversees the university's utility master planning. 

Central Utilities Initiative (CUI)

Vanderbilt University is set to make extensive upgrades to its utilities and other infrastructure as it prepares for future campus growth. The Central Utilities Initiative, which began January 2023, will provide enhancements in support of various Vandy United projects and other future university projects.


Conceptual Rendering

Among the planned upgrades, the new initiative will enhance the resiliency and redundancy of current utility systems on campus. Capacity for utility generation also will be increased with the construction of a new power plant beginning in 2023, as well as improved distribution lines. The Highland Power Plant, which is being designed to achieve LEED certification, will be located at the recreation field on 25th Avenue South, next to the David Williams II Recreation and Wellness Center.

Similar to the Phase I construction project in the Peabody Neighborhood in 2020, CUI will convert the original underground steam distribution system to hot water saving considerable energy and install chilled water lines, supporting the university’s sustainability goals. In alignment with Vanderbilt’s FutureVU vision, the project also will include the burying of overhead utilities, road improvements, and an enhanced pedestrian-centric environment, comparable to the transformation of the West End Neighborhood in 2019.