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Construction to continue past ‘07

By Amanda Hickey
News Editor

When students return in the fall, the current construction projects will be almost complete and new ones will be beginning.             They can expect that the Sampson classroom building will be open and in use. 

Oak Hall is among the new buildings on campus that will be open in the fall when students return. Oak Hall is a residence hall designed like Pine Hall and located across from the Auxiliary Services building.

Photo by Greg Larose
Oak Hall is among the new buildings on campus that will be open in the fall when students return.  Oak Hall is a residence hall designed like Pine Hall and located across from the Auxiliary Services building.

Sampson is expected to pass its final inspection at the end of April at which point the internet technology package will be installed and furniture will be added, according to Assistant Vice Chancellor of Facility Management, Facility Planning and Construction Steve W. Martin.             
           
Sampson will be open for summer session II.

           

Oak Hall, a new dorm, will be completed before August and open for students in the fall, according to Martin.            
           
The University Center Annex, a 20,000 square feet student affairs building, will be open in August, “but we don’t know exactly if that’ll fall into place,” according to Martin.            

These projects are not the end for construction on the UNCP campus.  As the number of students continues growing, the size of campus will as well.            
           
“We certainly can use more facilities for our students,” aid  Martin.            

In the 2000-2001 fiscal year, schools in the UNC system received a portion of the $3.5 billion higher education bond.  UNCP’s slice was $56 million, according to Martin.            
           
With that, Moore Hall was renovated, Lowry and BA will be renovated, the Auxiliary Services building was built, Sampson was built and the Physical Plant building was built among others, Martin said.            

“I think we’ve done a good job with it… they’re seeing a bang for their buck,” Martin said.            
           
There is one more bond project underway: the BioTech lab, Martin said.            

There are also plans in the works for the old bookstore.            

This summer, the old bookstore will be turned into classrooms, by demolishing a wall and making it possible to navigate through the entire building, according to Martin.            

The BA building will be receiving mechanical renovation.  The air conditioning and heating will work better and the windows are being replaced as well, according to Martin.            
           
Construction is also paid for by self-liquidating debt service and appropriated capital money, according to Martin.            

The aesthetics of campus are also being worked on this summer.             
           
"We’re going to try to make the walks more in tune with how people walk,” Martin said.                     

There will be more pathways and landscaping done between Old Main, Moore Hall and the Oxendine science building in order to eliminate the “cow paths” created by students walking in a straight line through the grass, according to Martin.             
           
Currently in design is another residence hall which will replace West Hall.            

West Hall will be demolished and replaced with a dorm more like Pine or Oak, Martin said.            
           
The Nursing Building is also in design.  There are  a few potential sites for the project such as where the softball field currently is.  The softball field would be relocated, he said.            

Projects that are in design could take from one year to a year and a half to begin, according to Martin.     “It takes a while to get through design,”he said.            
           
The UNCP campus currently consists of 50 buildings and 155 acres, according to Martin.            

“It’s a challenge to keep everything at a certain level and I like to think we’re at a high level,” Martin said.            
           
One of Martin’s goals is to give students and faculty more places around campus where they can relax.            

“We want to have more places like that, where students and faculty can gather,” he said.            
           
Martin wants the UNCP campus to be something the community is proud of.  “I’m going to try my best to make this as vibrant a campus as possible, our students deserve that.”

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Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2007
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