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Committee Meets With Architects

Duncan Hazard and Peter Mullan from the architectural and planning firm Polshek Partnership were selected and approved in mid-November from 26 different applicants. The project is part of the University's Master Plan, a 50-year blueprint for campus growth.

The project's planning stage will take about a year and will involve the architects and the committee, whose decisions must then be approved by the UNC Board of Trustees. A working group also will meet to bring proposals to the full committee.

The committee is made up of 24 members, most of whom are faculty whose departments will be impacted by the plan. The committee also includes a graduate student and will soon add two undergraduate representatives who will be chosen by student government. Two Chapel Hill residents will be selected by the Town Council to serve on the committee .

The project will take place in the area of campus between Cameron Avenue and Franklin Street and from South Columbia Street to the edge of McCorkle Place, also including the Playmakers Theatre and the area around Memorial Hall.

Committee chairman Steve Allred said several buildings, such as Abernethy, Swain, Smith, Person and Hill halls, as well as several on-campus houses might be renovated or replaced in the project. Landscaping also might change, and the final plan might include an underground visitor parking lot, he said.

Allred listed issues that will be discussed by the committee, including the preservation of historic campus buildings and the creation of inviting space as well as parking and access.

Polshek Partnership was chosen for the job partly because they specialize in planning projects on college campuses, many of them arts-related. "We always look for the opportunity to create plans ... that will be more than just the container of their individual programs and will contribute to the campus as a whole ... and to adjacent areas," Hazard said as he and Mullan presented their work to the committee.

Their planning experience includes projects at Yale University, The Ohio State University and Harvard Law School, and they also have designed academic buildings for institutions such as Barnard College and Stanford University.

The architects said their designs include the principles of maximizing existing space, relating the inside of buildings to the outside and making little-used spaces more inviting to students and the community.

The relationship between the campus and the town also will be addressed by the planning committee.

"I think what we would like from the town's point of view for this area is that a lot of consideration would be (given) to this place geographically," Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy said at the meeting. "This space would be very important to the downtown as well. ... I think we would like you to keep that in mind."

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