UNCG officials will share their experience renovating the Quad, a historic collection of 1920s on-campus residence halls, at the Association of College and University Housing Officers — International (ACUHO-I) 2013 Annual Conference and Exhibition June 15-19 in Minneapolis.

Their presentation, “Tear it down. No, save that building!: The UNCG Quad Residence Hall Renovation Project,” recounts the campus-wide discussion on whether to renovate or raze and rebuild the historic residences and the process designers and builders went through once the decision was made to restore the existing structures.  The talk will be given by Fred Patrick, director of UNCG Facilities, Design and Construction; Ed Keller, associate director of operations for UNCG Housing & Residence Life; and Bill Hopkins of Hanbury Evans Wright Vlattas + Company, the design architects for the Quad.

The debate about whether to renovate or tear down historic campus buildings is one being echoed on campuses across the nation, Patrick said. “Other people certainly are going through these kinds of things and more will be in the future. The trend in the industry is to do more renovation and restoration and not wholesale tearing down of buildings.”

Renovation also allows institutions to take their sustainability efforts to the next level, he added, both in terms of campus facilities and institutional memory. “You’re keeping the bricks and mortar in place. You’re keeping it in use. There’s the whole historical context and the aspect of the community that lived in the buildings. If they’re gone, those memories fade, but if the bricks and mortar are still there, it keeps those memories alive.”

The $55 million Quad renovation — funded by student receipts — involved gutting and rebuilding the halls into updated, suite-style living with modern amenities. Steps were taken to retain aspects of the buildings’ original features, including the brick exterior and the wooden handrails in the hall stairwells. The seven residence halls in the Quad – Shaw, Hinshaw, Gray, Bailey, Cotten, Jamison and Coit – reopened at the start of the 2012-13 academic year and were re-dedicated during Homecoming 2012.

Since the project’s completion, the Quad renovation has been honored by Preservation Greensboro for “Excellence in Preservation;” received the Star Award, the top honor given by the Construction Professional Network of North Carolina; and has been certified LEED Gold by the U.S. Green Building Council.