Triad universities looking at big renovation projects

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GREENSBORO, N.C. — As Triad universities begin to see more students return to campus, repairs and renovations that were previously put off are now front and center.

The UNC Board of Governors recently approved a $1.1 billion budget for renovations and repairs, and local universities aren’t holding back about what they need.

An $81 million request from UNCG tops the list of UNC System projects.

“This has been in the works for some time,” UNCG Chancellor Frank Gilliam said.

The university’s 70-year-old library, Gilliam told FOX8, has not been renovated in almost 50 years, when its concrete tower was constructed.

“It’s not ADA compliant, it has health and life safety issues and the expansion of the library will provide much-needed convenience space for us,” Gilliam said.

24-inch wide stacks, narrow hallways and fire safety concerns will all be addressed in Jackson Library’s three-year renovation plan.

“We’re not only trying to do all these projects in the building but also outside of the building,” said Sameer Kapileshwari, associate vice chancellor for facilities at UNCG.

ADA-compliant walkways, replacing concrete panels on the tower with glass to allow more natural light, a 24/7 café and multi-purpose rooms will be added to the library.

Unlike UNCG, North Carolina A&T State University is looking to repair multiple facilities — Price, Carver and Marteena Halls — for a combined price of $45.7 million. A university spokesperson told FOX8 Price and Carver, built in the 1950s, are long overdue for renovations. Marteena Hall, built in the 1980s, needs an upgrade as well.

Over in Forsyth County, Winston-Salem State is looking at a $9.8 million upgrade to its Hauser Building. Originally constructed as the student union in the 1970s, it now sits empty. The university plans to re-purpose the old student union to house the music department.

All big projects that will need to be approved by the state before they can begin.

“This capital investment in the infrastructure in the university is critical and will save money in the long run for the people of North Carolina,” Gilliam said.

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