Chemistry's Venable Being Razed to Make Way for New Building

The demolition of Venable Hall is moving at full speed and is scheduled to be completed March 20. A new building — even bigger than the old Venable — will be erected in its place to house the chemistry and marine sciences departments and a new science library.

Venable began falling to demolition equipment Jan. 19. Crews are working carefully to salvage recyclable and reusable materials from the 80-year-old building, such as beams and other contained pieces.

When finished about 2010, the science complex — consisting of the Venable replacement, the new Chapman Hall and Caudill Labs, and an addition to Sitterson Hall as well as the existing Kenan and Morehead chemistry labs and Phillips Hall — will be the largest construction project to date in UNC’s history. It will provide students and faculty with high-technology laboratories and lecture halls for advanced research in the departments of chemistry, materials science, physics and astronomy, marine sciences and computer science. The project also is seen as an advantage in efforts to pull in and retain faculty and strengthen UNC’s reputation as one of the country’s elite research universities.

Venable contained 143,000 square feet; the new building, for which the name of Francis P. Venable likely will be retained on all or part, will be 166,000 square feet.

In the first phase of the complex, Chapman and Caudill opened in fall 2006. More space was provided for materials science programs and the number of classrooms available increased. The second phase, begun in May 2006, includes the renovation of the Kenan Labs, built in 1971, and an addition to the computer science department’s Sitterson, built in 1987.

Related coverage is available online:

  • Buildout: No one — not even the people who planned UNC’s ambitious building program — believed it would happen this fast. The end is in sight for the main campus. (There will be no more room.)
    From the January/February 2006 issue of the Carolina Alumni Review, available online to Carolina Alumni members.

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