New Building for SILS, Other Projects Move Closer

They’re called the “red spots” on the Campus Master Plan map – the places designated in red where consultants and UNC architects believe new buildings and additions logically could go but that are on the back of the stove, unfunded and in some cases their uses unidentified.

Some of the red spots moved up a burner or two in March, when campus planners began seeking concept approval from the town of Chapel Hill. They range from a new headquarters for the nationally top-ranked School of Information and Library Science amid the dormitory-dominated South Campus to a vast addition to the dental school and more modest projects.

  • SILS has outgrown the approximately 80,000-square-foot Manning Hall, which planners say cannot be renovated to meet SILS’ technology needs. The new building would be 125,000 square feet, located just east of the Kenan-Flagler Business School parking deck. The future use of Manning has not been determined.
  • The existing Dental Office and Dental Research buildings would be razed for a new 175,000-square-foot Dental Science Building, which would enable the dental school to increase its enrollment 50 percent.
  • Davie Hall, which consists of parts built in 1926 and 1967, would be replaced with a three-floor, 75,000-square-foot building. The current building on Cameron Avenue is out of date for the psychology department’s needs.
  • In the vast area of the Bell Tower parking lot, three genomics-related buildings would go up behind Mitchell, Wilson and Coker halls as well as a new office building for the medical school and a pedestrian bridge over South Road. A parking deck originally planned for 1,600 spaces has been scaled beck to 710 spaces. The remaining spaces would comprise a three-level addition to the Craige parking deck on Manning Drive.
  • UNC wants to consolidate magnetic resonance imaging and other medical imaging in a new building next to the Lineberger Cancer Research Center.
  • A new 230-space parking deck would be built on the site of the tennis courts that were behind Hinton James dorm, with tennis courts added on top of it.

UNC also is seeking approval to add 8,804 seats to Kenan Stadium, which probably would entail demolishing the 1927 Kenan Field House and closing in the stadium’s east end. Athletics also wants to expand Boshamer Stadium with additional seats, restrooms and concession areas. Both stadiums could get box seats.

Approval is sought for an addition to the George Watts Hill Alumni Center.

With the exception of the SILS move and perhaps the parking deck with tennis courts, none of these is a surprise to those who have followed the planning schemes for the past seven years. The projects are in various stages of funding approval. The genome science and dental science buildings are UNC’s top priority for consideration in this year’s legislative session. Several of the others are in the University’s request from the 2005-07 biennial capital projects budget. Parking decks are paid for with parking revenues. UNC would move ahead with planning and construction as soon as funding is in place.

The athletics and Alumni Center additions, to be built with private money, have no firm timetables.

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