Many capital projects I have reported on in previous newsletters are nearing completion:
- Two new residence halls – Hunt Hall in South Village and Phase X on the north side of campus – will be available for student occupancy in the 2013 Fall Semester. Hunt Hall will house 436 freshman students, while Phase X will house 412 upperclassmen.
- The South Village area of campus, located near the existing high-rise facilities, includes the addition of Hunt Hall and a new 1,200-car parking deck (South Deck). Construction of the new South Village Dining Facility is well underway, with an anticipated opening in 2014.
- Renovation of the first high-rise constructed at UNC Charlotte, Holshouser Hall, currently in the design phase and scheduled for completion in 2015, includes brick cladding on the exterior and an “extreme makeover” and modernization of the interior.
- Design of Phase XIII, the next new South Village residence hall to be located adjacent to Holshouser, is also underway with its opening planned for summer of 2015. To improve campus traffic flow around South Village, High Rise Road is being realigned to intersect with Toby Creek Road at Harris Alumni Center. The combined roads from the front traffic circle to W. T. Harris Boulevard will be renamed “Alumni Way.”
- Construction of our partnership building (PORTAL), located in the CRI area of campus, is also scheduled for completion in January 2014.
- Design is also underway on the long-awaited realignment of Phillips Road. If you don’t know where Phillips Road is, I’ll remind you that it is the very steep road that leads from the center of campus down into the athletic fields area. The project includes new four-way signalized intersections at Craver and Cameron Roads (near the Student Union) and Cameron and Mary Alexander Roads (near the Greenhouse) and a new bridge over Toby Creek.
In addition to these projects, we are in the very early stages of planning for a hotel/conference center to be built along Tryon Street just south of the PORTAL building on land owned by the UNC Charlotte Foundation. This complex would give UNC Charlotte the capacity to integrate academic and other conferences with facilities on campus, serve as a “home away from home” for alumni returning to campus, allow us to provide on-campus accommodation for faculty/staff recruiting, and serve as a hotel for visiting intercollegiate athletic teams. Stay tuned for much more on this in the coming months.
The groundbreaking for the Northeast Extension of the Lynx light rail line will be held in late July. We look forward to the completion of the $1 billion project in Spring 2017. It will link our campus, students, and faculty with our Center City Campus and the businesses, organizations, arts and entertainment of Uptown Charlotte. Two stops will serve the University—one just south of our CRI campus on North Tryon Street and one right across the street from our North Village residence halls. For fans attending a football game or anyone who might want to access our campus, light rail will provide convenient and affordable transportation.