CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Aug. 20, 2015 -- The start of the fall 2015 semester is approaching, and University officials advise students and returning faculty to pay close attention to several transportation and construction upgrades, that, until completed, could result in disruptions navigating the UNC Charlotte campus.
Nearly 5,700 students will move into residence halls starting Friday, Aug. 21. Students, faculty and staff members should anticipate more traffic and plan accordingly when entering or exiting campus, especially on Friday. Campus police will direct traffic on Friday and Saturday.
Demand for parking spaces on campus is exceptionally strong during the first two weeks of the fall semester. University officials expect parking to be especially tight on Monday, Aug. 24, because of the Day of Convocation, a day to welcome new students to UNC Charlotte.
During the 21st century, UNC Charlotte has experienced an incredible growth trajectory. Enrollment has increased from 16,950 in 1999 to as many as 28,000 students when classes begin Aug. 24. During the last six years, UNC Charlotte has generated 46 percent of the enrollment growth in the entire 17-campus UNC system. Campus leaders anticipate continued growth with a student enrollment that could reach 32,500 by 2020. Naturally, that kind of growth demands almost nonstop upgrades and new construction.
The University is moving forward on several infrastructure projects that will provide long-term benefits for vehicular and pedestrian flow. However, some of the projects that were originally scheduled for completion during the summer are delayed.
Others — including the extensive light rail project on and near campus — are not scheduled to be completed in time for the new semester.
Improvements are still being made to the south entrance of the campus at Cameron Boulevard and University City Boulevard (N.C. Highway 49).
Construction of a traffic light at the intersection is under way; the goal is to make it easier for vehicles to enter/exit the campus at this location. The traffic light also will assist pedestrians crossing the highway. The work is scheduled to be completed in October.
Work continues on the first phase of the Phillips Road relocation. The project will move a section of Phillips Road that separates the tennis courts from the baseball stadium. The first phase should be finished in early September.
Later on, a new traffic signal is planned, along with a widened roadway, bike lanes and ADA-compliant pathways to the tennis courts.
Construction has been completed to add a new left turn lane for traffic to enter campus onto Alumni Way for vehicles traveling east on W.T. Harris Boulevard.
One of the most extensive projects is the new light rail station and adjoining track structures on campus. Charlotte Area Transit System (CATS) officials stated the projected completion date for the work is August 2017.
Three campus locations are being affected by the light rail construction:
- Site preparation and construction is proceeding on the UNC Charlotte station on Cameron Boulevard near Miltimore Hall
- At North Tryon Street and J.W. Clay Boulevard, construction is under way on another light rail stop that will serve the University
- Also on North Tryon, just north of the J. W. Clay Boulevard intersection, construction work continues on the light rail project. Sidewalks have been closed, and pedestrians are urged to exercise extreme caution, particularly if they are headed to the shopping center across North Tryon near Institute Circle
The University always strives to complete work on residence halls by the end of July, well before the start of classes. This year, work has been delayed, and construction due to be completed in June and July is expected to finish shortly before students return.
Laurel Hall, the newest residence hall at a cost of approximately $33.2 million, along with the renovated Holshouser and Oak Halls, will add to the capacity for students living on campus.
Laurel Hall and Holshouser Hall are both ready, but work continues on Oak Hall. Students who were scheduled to move into it will be temporarily housed in other residence halls until it is ready.
The school broke ground on the construction of the Levine Residence Hall this summer with an estimated price tag of $45 million and a projected completion date of October 2016.
Also ready this fall will be the Vickie and Gene Johnson Marching Band Center as well as the Hauser Alumni Pavilion.
The campus has 104 buildings covering 7.6 million square feet, according to facilities management. Between 2002 and 2014, the school completed $1.1 billion in capital improvements.
Information related to Move-In Weekend, Aug. 21-23, is posted online.
Media Contact: Paul Nowell, 704-687-5828, 704-582-9250 (c), firstname.lastname@example.org