UNC Charlotte Campus Undergoes $70 Million Project

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Construction on the UNC Charlotte campus is underway as students prepare to return for school in the fall. Approximately $70 million will be spent on more than a dozen projects throughout the next year.

Presently, 14 project managers are in charge of more than 800 construction workers on the campus, Director of Capital Projects John Fessler recently told the Charlotte Observer. Most of the planned summer projects were completed by July, well before the beginning of classes. Some projects scheduled for completion in June and July have been delayed, however, and will now be completed just days before students arrive.

The university’s newest residence hall, Laurel Hall, will cost $33.2 million and, along with renovations the existing Holshouser and Oak halls, will greatly expand the campus’ housing capacity. These renovations will also allow school to function as less of a commuter campus, Fessler told the Charlotte Observer.

Campus construction will continue throughout the year. Plans to break ground on a new residence hall, Levine Residence Hall, this summer are also underway, with an expected completion date of October 2016. The $45 million Levine Residence Hall will be the first hall on the UNC Charlotte campus to include an academic wing, and will most likely be used as a model for future residences. This fall, the school will also open the Vickie and Gene Johnson Marching Band Center as well as a new outdoor events center.

Speaking with the Charlotte Observer, Fessler said that construction of the residence halls, user fees will fund dining halls and parking decks, but academic buildings and some roads will be funded using tax dollars. While the economic downturn impacted tax-funded projects, the residence halls were not slowed down, as they used user funds.

Two road projects will also be completed after students have arrived. With the help of the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the school is improving the campus’ south entrance and adding a traffic light to the intersection. This will help pedestrians cross the street as well as control the traffic entering the campus.

The first phase of the Phillips Road relocation or as Fessler described to the Charlotte Observer, “the bridge over Toby Creek,” will move the road that separates the university’s tennis courts from the baseball field. This relocation should be completed before the first home football game, Fessler said.