Mike Bunting serves as UNC's associate athletic director for facility planning and management, which means that he's currently very busy. UNC athletic facilities are undergoing a massive series of renovations this year, shuffling around and/or impacting track and field, soccer, football, field hockey and lacrosse. Summer editor Rachel Jones spoke with Bunting about the extent of the renovations and what they'll mean for the future.
The Daily Tar Heel: Can you go through what renovations are taking place this year and how they're going to impact athletic programs?
Mike Bunting: So in the middle of campus, we're underway on a soccer-lacrosse stadium at Fetzer Field and an indoor practice facility for football and all of our field sports. So the indoor practice facility will include two outdoor practice fields, one synthetic, one natural grass. And at that practice complex, we are underway on a new track complex at Finley Fields, the outdoor track and associated facilities. That will also include two synthetic practice fields for our soccer and lacrosse programs. We will break ground in August, next month, on a new field hockey stadium at Ehringhaus Field. We are just completing a field renovation at Kenan Stadium. While the football practice complex is under construction, the team will have to practice, as well as compete, at Kenan Stadium. And we have just completed two new grass practice fields for our soccer and lacrosse programs at Finley Fields as well.
DTH: Are those programs going to practice on the fields this year?
MB: For the coming school year, the two soccer programs will practice at Finley Fields. Women's lacrosse will practice at Finley Fields. Men's lacrosse will practice at Hooker Fields. They practice early in the morning, so they'll be out before campus rec and LFIT programming starts.
Field hockey will practice in the Eddie Smith Field House, and they will also practice and compete at Duke in their field hockey facility.
DTH: Are soccer and lacrosse also going to be competing at Duke?
MB: Both lacrosse programs will compete in Kenan Stadium for their 2018 seasons. Soccer for this fall, 2017, will compete at Wake Med soccer park. Men will play at Wake Med, but they also will compete at Elon and in Greensboro.
DTH: Is this a normal amount of renovation for a year?
MB: No, it definitely isn't. This is the most work we've had going on at one time probably in our history, with the broadest impact to the number of programs and student athletes, and campus as well. This is having some impact on the LFIT class program under exercise and sports science and campus rec as well. But we're all going to benefit from it in the long run. But the nature of what we're doing had a little bit of a domino effect, that caused us to do all these things at once. When we renovated Fetzer — when we decided to build the indoor practice facility for football and all our programs, the footprint of that building was going to cause us to need to move forward immediately with the renovation in Fetzer to the soccer/lacrosse stadium.