Following the recommendation of Chancellor Linda P. Brady, the Board of Trustees voted unanimously Thursday to renovate rather than demolish and replace the seven historic residence halls that make up the Quad.
UNCG has demonstrated its commitment to historically sensitive renovation illustrated by Aycock Auditorium, the Alumni House, Forney and other projects and I pledge we will approach renovation of the Quad residence halls in the same spirit, Brady told the board.
The renovation of Bailey, Coit, Cotten, Gray, Hinshaw, Jamison and Shaw residence halls is expected to cost about $52.5 million and will include the addition of air conditioning, fire sprinklers and accommodations for those with disabilities.
The residence halls will be converted from traditional double rooms to suite-style rooms with adjoining baths. Additional spaces for learning communities will be created as part of the project.
Brady and the board arrived at their decision after completing UNCG's first-ever Strategic Housing Plan, which calls for major expansion of the university's housing program in the next decade.
I have listened closely to the diverse views of many groups, to the expressed memories of our alumni who lived on the Quad, to the passion of those on campus and in this community who are committed to sustainability, to our faculty and staff who support the expansion of living-learning communities, and to the needs of current and future students for higher quality space and amenities, Brady said. We have taken all of these views into account.
The board's decision was greeted warmly by alumni and preservationists who attended Thursday's meeting. A lot of people have special memories of that place, said Jana Wagenseller, president of the UNCG Alumni Association. With this decision, the Quad will continue to be the heart of the campus.
The Quad residence halls have millions of dollars in deferred maintenance, said Glenn Perkins, director of outreach education and web site editor for Preservation North Carolina, but the board's decision will restore them to their former glory.
All the emails and the messages [in favor of renovation] represent the passion that was there for the Quad. It can be there again, said Perkins, who earned a master's in history at UNCG. You couldn't wish for a better outcome.
The board supported the Quad renovation as part of a three-part plan to begin addressing the long-term housing needs of the campus. That plan calls for building a new residence hall adjacent to Tower Village and exploring options for new housing and recreational facilities near campus.