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Students Walking by Old Well

Executive Summary

In 2003, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill initiated the process to update the 2001 Campus Master Plan. In the course of updating the 2001 Plan the University discovered that approximately fifty percent of the sites proposed by the Plan were under construction or in design and planning. The University is constructing over six million square feet of new buildings and rehabilitating nearly a million square feet of existing space. This significant implementation of the 2001 Plan is made possible by funding from the North Carolina Higher Education Bond Referendum and University based funding sources.

The 2001 Master Plan was developed collaboratively by faculty, staff, students, administrators, and campus neighbors both immediate and regional, and these four principles guided their efforts:

  • Support the University’s mission.
  • Export qualities of McCorkle and Polk Places to the south campus.
  • Enhance the University’s intellectual climate.
  • Support local and regional planning strategies.

Highlights of the University’s progress in implementing the 2001 Campus Master Plan include:

Arts Common will better connect UNC to Chapel Hill.

Arts Common: The first phase of this project is already under construction. Arts Common will better connect UNC to downtown Chapel Hill, provide much needed updated performing arts space, and create new open space in the northwest quadrant of campus.

Caudill Laboratories encourage interdisciplinary collaboration.

Science Complex: The first phase of this project is complete; Caudill Laboratories and Chapman Hall accomplish a major objective of the Master Plan by encouraging collaboration among the many disciplines across the College of Arts and Sciences. These two laboratory buildings add 270,000 gross square feet of wet and dry laboratory space, offices, and classrooms.

Rams Head Center: Rams Head is conveniently located for students living in the north and south campuses and is home to a mix of amenities where they can eat meals, buy groceries, or exercise. A key design feature of the center is a green roof atop a 700 space parking deck. The green roof helps to manage stormwater on the site, and is also a plaza that creates a crucial link in the pedestrian route between the north and south campuses.

Rams Head Center is home to a mix of student amenities.

Campus Infrastructure Improvements: Most of the improvements recommended in the 2001 Plan have been implemented. Expansion of campus utilities, such as new steam and chilled water plants, enables the campus to better accommodate demands of new and renovated buildings. The addition of four parking decks allows reclamation of surface parking lots for academics and open space.

Hinton James North is one of several new residence halls in the south campus.

South Campus: Additional student housing has been built in the south campus – nine new residence halls and nine new married student apartment buildings. Not only do these buildings bring more students to this part of campus, but they better define the streetscape and open spaces of the south campus making it friendly to pedestrian traffic. Scheduled to be completed in 2007, the new Student Academic Services Building will bring student services and a major new plaza for student activity to the heart of the south campus.

Historic buildings like the Campus Y are a legacy for the future.

Campus Historic Preservation: A commitment to preserve historic buildings as a legacy for future Carolina students has resulted in restoration and re-use of several well-loved buildings. One example is the Campus Y. Long underutilized and once slated for demolition, this building has been extensively renovated and now offers a faculty-student lounge, seminar rooms, University and student offices, as well as a coffee shop.

Environmental Strategy: Growing awareness of sustainability issues has led to a closer examination of energy and resources used throughout the campus. New initiatives since 2001 include the Sustainability Office, stormwater management program, tree replacement, water re-use, thermal storage for chilled water, free public transportation, re-cycling, and additional on-campus student housing. The Campus Sustainability Report includes more information on this topic and is available online.

The green roof at Carrington Hall is a favorite place to study and helps manage stormwater runoff.
Memorial Grove is one of the many open spaces that have been improved since 2001.

Open Space Planning: A number of projects that contribute to the improvement of campus open space are complete or in progress. Construction of Rams Head, Arts Common, Bondurant Hall, Bell Tower, Student Academic Services, the parking deck at Cobb-Joyner and Global Education each contribute to the commitment that the University made in the 2001 Plan to create additional open space on the campus.

Through the course of the Campus Master Plan Update the University has confirmed the original tenets of the 2001 Plan, and recognized that the implementation of the development program has been successful. The Update also reveals that the development of the campus since 2001 approaches the responsible capacity of the land. These objectives will support the University’s mission driven growth:

  • Build Carefully – Capacity on main campus is limited. The remaining growth potential is about four and a half million GSF. Of that, fewer than ten building sites, totaling less than one million GSF are unassigned. Best advantage must be made of the remaining opportunities for buildings and parking.
  • Strategic Renovation – Renewal of existing facilities will be required to meet the ongoing needs of main campus.
  • South Access Road – Main campus growth continues to be concentrated in south campus, and requires improved access to the area. If financed by public funds, the administrative process for the necessary south access road is expected to take ten years or more; work must begin now to meet this future need.
  • Carolina North – This mixed use development is critical to the University’s future; its development will ease current space constraints and support new research and business relationships.