The UNC Charlotte campus, during the next five-year period, will be undergoing a heightened level of physical expansion. Over the past year Facilities Management (FM) and Financial Services worked together with campus units to create a strategic Five-Year Capital Construction Plan, which was approved by Chancellor Philip L. Dubois.
The Five-Year Plan, as its most commonly referred, is a comprehensive approach to renew buildings in the academic core, to improve campus infrastructure, and to manage the construction of new facilities to ensure adequate space for continued growth. FM is currently leading coordination and collaboration with university partners on the implementation to successfully execute this plan.
“The work that will occur over the next five years will position the university for the next 25 years,” said Phil Jones, associate vice chancellor for Facilities Management. “To enable the University to continue to fulfill its mission as North Carolina’s urban research institution, UNC Charlotte is investing in building and infrastructure improvements that will better serve our students, faculty and staff and the scholarship and research in which they are engaged.”
In the plan, there are over 40 Capital projects costing over $450M including new construction, road and utility improvements, and core academic building renovations.
Chris Gilbert, facilities planning director, is at the helm of the efforts of the Five-Year Coordination Committee, comprised of FM personnel and representatives from across campus. The committee, which is co-chaired by Jones and Susan Brooks, interim associate vice chancellor for Finance, is tasked with the shared approach to ensure proper communication and decision making.
“Not only does each individual project require attention to detail, but given the complexity across the entirety of the plan, collective coordination is vital to prevent major disruptions to normal university operations,” said Gilbert.
Executing the comprehensive plan will be an ongoing and ever-changing effort. The University is developing a Five-year Capital Construction Plan website to keep the campus community apprised of the progress.
Additionally, project inquiries and customer service issues are being addressed through an expansion of the FM Customer Service Line. Calls made to 704-687-0562, (or 7-0562 from an on-campus line), are answered by the newly established Facilities Operations administrative support group during the hours of 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Jones noted that the upcoming level of construction is unprecedented. “We have never undertaken this level of integrated planning and funding before at UNC Charlotte. FM is committed to ensuring the University gains a modernized core of campus and a developed infrastructure to support growth in student population and research. We’re reaffirming the vision of creating a campus of distinction.”