UNCG’s renovation and restoration of The Quad, seven historic residence halls built around the early 1920s, has been honored by Preservation Greensboro for “excellence in preservation.”

“We were the only institutional or large project honored,” said Fred Patrick, director of UNCG Facilities, Design and Construction. “It was a real honor for us to get it.”

The $55 million 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.

UNCG’s decision to renovate, rather than raze, the historic residences is one being echoed at 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.”

Officials from Facilities, Design and Construction are collaborating with the project designer and UNCG Housing and Residence Life to present a paper on the Quad renovation at an upcoming meeting of the Association of College and University Housing Officers — International.

 

By Lanita Withers Goins