Bruce Runberg, associate vice chancellor for planning and construction, said that projects on campus will be stepped up this year and that there are more than 90 projects in the works.
Campus construction is gaining steam in part because the Chapel Hill Town Council approved the first projects this summer under the new development ordinance, which gives the town 15 working days to review applications for construction of projects under UNC's Development Plan.
In July, University officials submitted a request to begin work on six projects, including the renovation of Alexander, Connor and Winston residence halls and the new science complex. The town approved all six projects a week later.
Runberg said many of the projects will affect parking and transportation on campus this year, but officials will be posting signs on campus and alerts on UNC's Web site with alternate routes.
Runberg said one of the biggest construction projects this year will be the beginning of the Ramshead parking structure, which will contain a three-level parking deck with 700 parking spaces, a grocery store, a dining facility and a recreation facility. Officials anticipate that Ramshead will be completed in January 2005.
Runberg said that Ramshead will be the linchpin between North and South campuses and that it is part of an effort to make South Campus more appealing.
Dean Bresciani, interim vice chancellor for student affairs, said projects like the new Ramshead building will help transform the image of South Campus. Officials are trying to dispel the stigma of living on South Campus with projects like Ramshead, the new residence halls, a proposed student and academic services building and renovations like landscaping.
"The goal is not to make (South Campus) better than North Campus," he said. "It's to level the playing field."
Runberg said the construction of a new science complex will be another major project on campus this year.