Construction Projects Kickstart N.C. Promise Preparations
In addition to conducting facilities inspections, a parking and traffic study and many construction projects across campus, UNCP facilities continues to plan and anticipate the arrival of new campus additions and renovations.
Lumbee Hall Entrance
“Where the DOT project stops, we have a small project that comes in and interfaces with that so it ties the two in,” said Scott Noble, university architect and director of Facilities Planning and Construction. According to Noble, the entrance into Lumbee Hall (from Prospect Road) will be recreated with a roundabout placed in the area.
The project centers on Lumbee Hall which will be a “focal point” and “gateway” for the university. Additionally, the plan will include architectural features that will identify Lumbee Hall as a place of prominence on campus, David Hatch, director of Facilities Management said.
For now, plans are still being drafted for the new entrance in relation to the Gateway Project renovation of Prospect Road as Noble continues to prepare for the coming changes.
Another change coming to Lumbee Hall is the LeanHub.
“We are looking at renovating the first floor of Lumbee Hall and it is going to be called LeanHub,” Noble said. According to Noble, this will be a place where students can register for classes, parking passes and handle matters pertaining to financial aid.
“It’s kind of like a one stop shop,” he said. The integration of LeanHub is one way Noble hopes to continue to improve the university in the ever-advancing technological climate of today.
This summer, facilities will also be at work extending waterlines and repairing gas lines by Faculty Row, according to Hatch. The lines will be extended from the area of the University Quad across Faculty Row to the business administration building and dorms, he said.
A parking and traffic study is being conducted to gauge the need for new parking areas in preparation for N.C. Promise. In addition to the study, creating more lots such as the one situated behind Burger King is a concept that is being considered.
“I think there’s a lot of opportunities to do anything on the other side of Prospect [road],” Noble said. “One of the things we really need to consider in conjunction with that is the construction of Prospect Road.”
With the added safety of the new Prospect Road renovation, Noble sees the possibility of more parking across the street as a solution.
“Being able to park on that side of the road after that project i
s done is really sort of the goal,” he said of plans to accommodate parking needs.
In addition to the two roundabouts featured in the project, eight new crosswalks will be added, Hatch said. Also, new lighting measures will be added to the west side of Prospect Road to mirror those across the street and provide safer areas for pedestrians, he said.
“The project will begin in April and is scheduled to continue for two years, with a target date of completion in spring 2020,” according to the Robesonian. “Construction will take place between West Third Street and a point just north of Cornith Street.”
According to Hatch, West Hall will see renovations to provide additional classroom spaces, as well as office spaces for the Division of Information Technology (DoIT) staff.
New Business Building
“I think the school of Business Building is going to be a very high tech building. It will have a lot of technology built into it as we build the building,” Hatch said. “The committee for the school of Business has recognized that the open spaces within that building are designed to be collaborative spaces for students.”
It will also provide a food service venue, which has not yet been decided on, he said. Also, according to Hatch, of the $13 million needed to begin the project, “They currently have commitments to a little over $9 million, leaving about $4 million to be raised.”
“I see it as positive, it’s change and change creates opportunity,” Hatch said. “I think those opportunities are going to be very exciting.”
According to Hatch, N.C. Promise addresses the cost of higher education and its high demand. He sees the tuition plan as a start in shifting the conversation to sustaining a lower cost of education for students in the future. As N.C.
Promise advances, new plans are continuously being made for accommodations.
“I know there are plans for new student housing by University Road,” Noble said. Also, Hatch said that he communicates regularly with Nicolette Campos, director and ADA coordinator of the Accessibility Resource Center, about students with disabilities and maintaining a safe environment in the event of ongoing construction on campus.
For now, facilities will continue to inspect, assess and repair areas on campus that need to be repurposed or renovated.