The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Tuesday September 28th

Officials: Construction Won't Hinder Festivities

But officials say there's no need to worry -- these changes are only temporary and shouldn't dramatically impede any Carolina Family Weekend activities.

One alteration, however, that was made is the location of the Family Weekend headquarters. This year, the activities will be centered in the William and Ida Friday Center for Continuing Education on N.C. 54, located three miles from UNC-Chapel Hill campus.

Previous years, the Family Weekend was held out of the Great Hall in the Student Union, but the current construction limits parking availability on campus and organizers with the Carolina Parents Office changed the venue to avoid the traffic crunch.

Once parents of most underclassmen hit the campus for events scheduled at the University the most visible sign of construction will be the new residence halls being built on South Campus, mere feet away from the existing high-rise residence halls.

Construction began on four new residence halls in November 2000 and is scheduled to be finished July 10.

The construction is proceeding on schedule but has caused some headaches for residents, mostly because of noise, dust and obstructed walking routes.

The Department of Housing and Residential Education posts weekly construction updates on its Web site, A statement on the site indicates that weekend work is scheduled throughout the fall semester.

Rebecca Casey, assistant director of housing, said no major changes are planned for the construction sites during Family Weekend.

"They're preparing for all sites to begin roof work, and all the basic wall structure is up," she said.

"All of the access roads that were closed are now reopened on South Campus, so there shouldn't be any problems in that respect."

Another major project settled right in the middle of campus is the renovations of the Undergraduate Library.

Leah McGinnis, assistant head of the Undergrad, said most of the construction parents might notice during their weekend on campus will be around the sides of the building.

"It depends on when they are walking past," she said.

"During the day during the week, they may see some digging around the perimeter of the building, but it shouldn't be going on during the weekend itself."

The library is being almost completely renovated, but most of the construction is occurring from the inside out.

"Most of what's scheduled to go on next week is confined to indoors," McGinnis said.

"Parents may see workers coming in and out of the building."

While the Undergrad is closed, all of its services have been moved to Davis or Wilson libraries. The project, which began Dec. 19, 2000, is set to be completed in fall 2002.

And just across the Pit from the Undergrad, scaffolds and cranes rise above the Student Union, which is in Phase I of a major renovation effort.

The renovations are six months behind schedule, and the current phase, the erection of an addition to the Union, is set to be completed in December.

The Union will be fully open and operational during Family Weekend -- the only inconvenience associated with Union construction is the closing of the staircase from South Road to the Pit.

Students or parents approaching the Pit from the south can walk around the Union in either direction to avoid the closed stairwell.

The final major construction project is the revamping of a hot water heating system serving North Campus residence halls along Raleigh Road.

The picturesque quads that symbolize North Campus, such as the one between Grimes, Mangum, Manly and Ruffin residence halls, are now filled with construction equipment and workers.

But these changes are only temporary -- each phase of the project is expected to take only a few months, with the overall upgrade finished in October 2002.

Besides these four major projects, other undertakings include the construction of the Institute for Arts and Humanities on Franklin Street and the renovation of Manning, Saunders, Murphey and Alumni halls.

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