How the University is handling construction during COVID-19
According to a UNC Charlotte spokesperson, adjustments to construction to prevent the spread of COVID-19 will depend on the type of project. Large projects like the new science building and the new dorm being built behind Levine will continue on schedule because they are self-contained, meaning they’re not tied to existing structures. The construction teams are taking precautions by following health and safety guidelines and will continue to meet for construction planning via WebEx while the University monitors the progression of COVID-19.
On the other hand, projects that involve renovation to existing buildings will continue tentatively but could be halted upon determination from the state. It will largely depend on access to buildings and whether that becomes restricted as the situation progresses. Smaller outdoor projects like a planned bus pull-off near the CRI parking deck will continue since they are self-contained.
UNC Charlotte personnel will continue to monitor the situation, and construction plans could change as the state legislature takes extra cautionary measures to counter the COVID-19 outbreak.
General project updates
When asked for a general project update, Kathryn Horne, the director of planning at UNC Charlotte, gave the Niner Times information on the major projects that students can look forward to seeing on campus in the near future. This includes:
Science building construction
The project is progressing on schedule and is set to open spring 2021. Workers are currently implementing IT and mechanical equipment in the Data Center building and putting steel into the larger infrastructure of the project.
Cameron second floor renovation
This project is still in the planning phase. The University has yet to receive funding from the state, but they are progressing in the design phase of the project. Once completed, this will offer additional research space for the chemistry department. Dates for this project are yet to be determined.
Once the science building opens in spring 2021, the classes and facilities currently housed in Burson will move either to the new science building or the second floor of Cameron. This will leave Burson empty for renovation. The University plans to continue using this space for STEM fields, specifically computational labs for computing-related classes.
Phase XVI housing construction
This new residence hall, located on the former site of Moore Hall, is in the construction phase. It will include traditional rooms (two people to a room with bathrooms off the hallway), creating an affordable on-campus housing option. The project is expected to open in August 2021.
Crown Commons renovation
Renovations on Crown Commons will begin summer 2021 to bring new dining options for students. This project is in the early stages of development but will involve a brand-new food option (yet to be decided) as well as renovations for Einstein Bagels.
Fretwell Peet’s Coffee renovation
There are currently plans to improve the Peet’s Coffee location in Fretwell. This project is also slated for summer of 2020. The project is in its early stages, and so far, the University has just selected a design team to handle this project. Further details to come as planning progresses.
Union Starbucks renovation
The Starbucks housed in the Student Union will close for renovation during summer 2020 to accommodate its popularity among the student body. In the meantime, the University will set up a Starbucks coffee truck to service students while the renovation is underway.
East Village infrastructure project
In order to address the issues discovered by the Chancellor’s on-campus congestion study, the University plans to restructure the roads by East Village to reduce traffic entering and exiting campus. This will involve installing at least one traffic light. Further details to come as planning progresses.
These deadlines are subject to possible change depending on the status of COVID-19 and how that will impact construction on campus. In the meantime, expect these exciting projects to continue on time.