Elon’s campus busy with summer construction activity

Summer is the busiest time for construction on Elon's campus and there are many projects underway. Read this note for details about enhancements to Elon's outstanding environment for learning. 

Elon’s campus during the summer months is typically much quieter, with thousands of undergraduates away at internships, jobs, travel and other experiences.

But during summer 2017, the sounds of construction are heard across campus as workers begin exciting new building projects and continue making progress on projects started earlier this year.

Here’s a look at some of the construction currently taking place on campus:

An aerial view of the Schar Center.
Schar Center

Following a fall 2016 groundbreaking, work began quickly to get underway on the construction of the Schar Center, Elon’s new 160,000-square-foot convocation center that will be completed in 2018. The new center will offer a premier gathering space for major campus events and will serve as the new home for Elon’s basketball and volleyball programs.

<p>The main arena floor in the Schar Center</p>
The end of June marked significant progress on the interior of the 5,400-seat arena, with the public getting its first glimpse inside the main arena bowl at Elon’s Schar Center website. Brad Moore, university architect and director of planning, design and construction management, said that the building should be “dried in,” meaning the building shell has been completed to the point it can keep out the elements, by the end of July.

“That turns them loose to start the interior finishes,” Moore said.

Extensive work will remain to be done as crews work to get the building systems — plumbing, mechanical and electrical systems — operational and undertake the complex work of completing the finishes and outfitting the building with seats, flooring, scoreboards, equipment, technology and branding. The goal is to have the center ready to use by Elon teams by August 2018, Moore said.


An elevation rendering of the new recreation center.
South Campus recreation center expansion

Work on a new recreation facility on the South Campus began in spring semester, with construction crews now completing the foundation. The new facility will be similar to the Phoenix Activities and Recreation Center in the Danieley Center and is being built to take the place of East Gym, which was removed to make way for three new residence halls on that site.

With 11,000 square feet, the expanded recreational center will connect to the existing South Campus Gym and will include a large playing court to be used for basketball, indoor soccer and hockey, along with support spaces and spectator seating. The facility will be accompanied by about 70 parking spaces, and is expected to be completed by August 2018.


New residence halls and tennis center

The former East Gym site is now being transformed to be home for three new three-story residence halls, each of which will house 103 students. Moore explains that the residential neighborhood is designed to create a sense of community among students in many different ways.

Broadly, this new trio of residential facilities will be a community of 309 students who are brought together within a shared quad of buildings. Each residence hall, Moore explains, will become a community of 103 students who will share the resources and services within the building. Within each residence hall will be communities of about 30 students on each floor, with the floor including a residence advisor, living room, kitchen, laundry and hall bathrooms.

Each floor is laid out with three wings that are connected by a central forum where students can gather for social or academic pursuits, fostering a sense of community for each floor, Moore said. Each wing also includes opportunities for a more intimate community, with each group of 10 students sharing a hallway and a small study nook. Lastly, pairs of students occupying each room will hopefully build community on the smallest scale.

Along with the new residence halls, the former East Gym site will be home to a new tennis center to serve the Jimmy Powell Tennis Center. Coaches offices and locker rooms had been housed inside the now demolished East Gym, and will now be contained within the new 5,000-square-foot tennis center.

Both projects are projected to be completed by August 2018.


West, Virginia Halls

Elsewhere on campus, work is underway to upgrade several of Elon’s historic residence halls, including the oldest building on campus — West Hall.

Interior demolition and reframing work is being undertaken in West Hall this summer, with upgraded finishes and furniture to be installed before students return in August. Crews are also upgrading the bathrooms and building systems (lighting, heating, air, plumbing), Moore said. New windows are being installed in West and the connected Virginia Hall, and ramps are being added to make the buildings more accessible to students of all abilities.

Plans also call for the creation of a new faculty apartment in West. The historic building previously had a faculty apartment which was converted into student rooms years ago. This project creates a new faculty apartment but exposes some of the historical architectural character of the existing building by reusing the existing mantel and wood floors, Moore said.

The project is part of the ongoing effort to upgrade student housing in the Historic Neighborhood, with Sloan Hall renovated during summer 2016, and work on Smith Hall and Hook, Brannock and Barney Halls to be done during future summers.


Already complete

Several smaller projects that got underway in the spring or early summer have already been completed.

​Work to renovate Long Building as the home of the Interactive Media master’s program and the Department of Sport Management was completed as Commencement 2017 was wrapping up, closing out the final phase of the School of Communications expansion project. Faculty are moving into new offices in that building and enjoying new spaces, including classrooms, video editing bays and graphics work stations.

The Bursar’s Office in Alamance Building was renovated in June to make it more user-friendly and to update the finishes and furniture.

The completion of the Long Building project and relocation of the iMedia program prompted the renovation of the second floor of Powell Building, its former home. That project includes creating new facilities for the relocation of the Elon Poll, which had previously been housed in the first floor of Gray Pavilion in the Academic Village. Along with space for the polling center, Powell Building’s second floor has renovated faculty office and classroom space.

Across campus on Elon’s Loy Farm, a new bathroom facility has been added to better serve students, faculty and staff.

More updates on other construction projects around campus will be coming in future weeks.