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Officials Discuss Plans for North Campus Halls

Construction will be designed to keep the original architectural features of Kenan, Alderman and McIver residence halls intact.

Students and staff discussed the possible future of Kenan, Alderman and McIver residence halls at a presentation Tuesday by the architects in charge of renovating those halls.

"This is a concept discussion," said Christopher Payne, director of housing and residential education, at the meeting, which was held in Kenan.

"The purpose of this session is to get ideas out there."

Housing department officials and students discussed the placement of kitchens, study lounges, offices and the area director's apartments in the three residence halls, which will be closed in spring 2003 and reopen in fall 2004.

The halls will close when Connor, Winston and Alexander residence halls are ready to reopen after they undergo similar renovations during the 2002-03 school year.

Payne said the primary purposes of the renovations are to improve the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, to install sprinklers and to make access to the buildings easier for students with disabilities.

He said an elevator will be installed in each residence hall to create access to the upper floors for students with disabilities.

At Tuesday's meeting, architects from Clark Nexsen, the company hired to work on the renovations, presented tentative plans for the three halls. About 20 of the meeting's attendees made suggestions for changes.

The final plans will not be presented for at least several more months, said John Shurley, a Clark Nexsen designer.

Payne said a few residents' rooms might be lost in the renovations as a result of making room for the new elevators, although he said the impact on available student housing will not be significant.

He said the housing department also would like to create a two-bedroom apartment for the area director, who has a one-bedroom apartment.

Payne said the proposed apartment would accommodate area directors who are married or have children.

Both students and staff stressed the importance of retaining the original architectural features of the buildings as the renovations proceed.

"We should keep in mind that the buildings need to retain their historic qualities, because they are beautiful buildings," said area director Kala Gray.

But architect Tom Keeling said the plans would preserve many of the residence halls' original features, such as the large parlors on the first floors of all three buildings and the hardwood floors.

Senior Tambre Anderson, a McIver resident assistant, said it would mean a lot to the residents to preserve the wood floors.

She said, "I think they add that feeling of a home."

The University Editor can be reached at udesk@unc.edu.

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