|UNCG to Preserve Historic Quad|
|By Glenn Perkins|
|September 10, 2009|
UNCG Trustees voted today in favor of renovating the campus's historic Quad. Since spring the trustees and administration had been debating whether to renovate the seven residence halls constructed between 1919 and 1923 or to demolish them and rebuild.
THE QUAD CONTINUES TO MATTER
Let's thank UNCG for choosing to preserve the historic residential Quad
E-mail thank you to members of the UNCG Board of Trustees: www.uncg.edu/cha/bot/
Celebrate on our facebook group page Renovate, Don't Demolish, the UNCG Quad!
The Trustees made their decision, appropriately enough, in the splendid Virginia Dare room in the recently renovated Alumni House.
"UNCG has demonstrated our commitment to historically-sensitive renovation," Chancellor Linda Brady told the board, as reported in the Greensboro News & Record. "Illustrated by Aycock Auditorium, this lovely Alumni House, Forney and other projects — and I pledge we will approach renovation of the Quad residence halls in the same spirit."
The Board authorized $53.4 million for the renovation of the residence halls originally designed by architect Harry Barton. Program and design concepts for the Quad won't come out before winter, but the project promises to create a special environment for students, the kind of environment that former students remembered so passionately.
Board members spoke about this passion for the Quad which people had expressed to them "in emails, phone calls, even in line at the Harris Teeter." Apparently the outcry played a large part in the decision to renovate.
"We at Preservation NC tried to make sure that people knew about the threat to the Quad," said President Myrick Howard. "This place is important to many people with UNCG connections, and demolition made absolutely no sense, either economically or environmentally. We are delighted that so many folks who cared deeply about the Quad rallied to its defense. This is a great day for all!"
As one writer posted on Facebook, "I lived in Gray my first two years at UNCG. There were definitely a lot of setbacks — no A/C, small armies of centipedes marking their territory . . . These are definitely things that should be addressed. But to destroy what was my home for two years — those awkward initial years where I finally planted my feet outside of my hometown . . . Well, that would probably break my heart."
Future students will now be able to create new memories and new learning communities in these places, even as they follow in the footsteps of groundbreaking women like JoAnne Smart and Betty Ann Davis Tillman, the two African American students who integrated the campus in 1956 and have a parlor dedicated to them in Shaw.
Thanks to Chancellor Linda Brady, the administration, the Board of Directors, the hundreds of you who wrote letters or emails, the more than 1,300 who supported renovating the Quad on Facebook, and all those who joined us in saying "This Place Matters," the Quad can continue to matter and can re-emerge as the heart of this historic campus.
Glenn Perkins (UNCG M.A. 2005) is Director of Outreach Education and Website Editor for Preservation NC