Innovation Quad completion tops summer campus construction list

The university's largest construction project, the Innovation Quad is nearing its completion date.

Described as a future showpiece of the university, the nearly 65,000-square-foot Innovation Quad complex leads the way as the most notable construction project on Elon University’s campus this summer. Scheduled to be completed in August, Founders Hall and IQ2 will be a future bridge between STEM and the humanities as innovative and attractive additions to campus.

However, the IQ is not the only project that has crews working to improve Elon’s campus. The Gerald L. Francis Center, McMichael Science Center and Carolina Hall will also undergo significant updates. Other projects to improve foot traffic and office spaces will also occur this summer.

Innovation Quad 

Designed to seamlessly blend science and technology studies with the arts and the humanities, the Innovation Quad nears closer to its August completion date.

Progress on the Innovation Quad as of May 13, 2022.

First announced in February 2020, the Innovation Quad is comprised of two state-of-the-art buildings – IQ2, which will focus on discovery and design, and Founders Hall, which will focus on prefabrication and prototyping.

The larger of the two is the 40,000-square-foot IQ2, which will encompass cutting-edge classroom spaces and undergraduate research laboratories to enhance the experiential learning opportunities. The three-story facility will be the home for cross-disciplinary studies, equipment and research in biomedicine, computer science, physics and robotics.

The 25,000-square-foot, two-story Founders Hall will be a hub for innovation and the backbone of Elon’s engineering department. Including large and open workspaces, as well as various labs for design, advanced prototyping, astrophysics, virtual reality and several other areas of research.

The main entrance will have a special reflective glass that changes colors when viewed from different angles. Outside the complex will be a dynamic photovoltaic array solar flower that unfolds in the morning, turning the sun’s light into energy, and retracts once the sun sets.

“It’s really going to be a showpiece for the university,” said Brad Moore, university architect and director of planning, design and construction management.

Gerald L. Francis Center 

Home to the School of Health Sciences, the Gerald L. Francis Center is undergoing the second phase of expansion for its nursing, physician assistant studies and physical therapy education facilities, which wraps up by the end of June.

Additions to the Francis Center include a new interprofessional lab equipped with augmented, virtual and mixed reality technology, a research lab, a new classroom, as well as a new student entry and hangout area. There will also be a new entry garden dedicated to donors that have given their bodies to science.

Indoor performance facility at Walter C. Latham Park 

As one of the nation’s top mid-major college programs, the Elon men’s baseball team will soon get to perfect their skills at the indoor training facility. Located along the right-field line at Latham Park, the facility, made up of four batting cages and garage bay doors, will be completed in the next few weeks.

The addition of the facility will position Latham Park as one of the top baseball facilities in the Colonial Athletic Association.

Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Science Center 

The Dalton L. McMichael Sr. Science Center will undergo its first renovations since it opened in 1998. As the faculty and staff from the engineering and physics department prepare for their move into the Innovation Quad, the vacated space will be updated for the sciences that remain in McMichael – biology, chemistry and environmental sciences.

The renovations this summer are the first step in a series of updates to the building and include creating faculty offices for the remaining three departments. Following this summer, the classrooms and labs will be addressed, as well as an upgrade to the building’s HVAC system.

Carolina Hall 

For the past several summers, the residence halls in Historic Neighborhood have been undergoing renovation, with Sloan, West, Virginia and Smith halls already completely overhauled. This summer, Carolina Hall will be added to that list receiving an ADA-accessible ramp, ADA-accessible rooms and upgrading the finishes and furniture in the building.

Work began on Carolina Hall last summer with crews replacing the windows and updating the electrical services. “Probably the biggest change there is we are converting the gang restrooms on the hall into individual bathing compartments,” Moore said.

Additional projects this summer

  • The windows will be replaced in Hook, Brannock and Barney ahead of a full renovation in summer 2023.
  • Signage for Medallion Plaza will be installed.
  • A pedestrian-dedicated pathway connecting the Danieley Center to the Colonnades neighborhood will be built. A pedestrian and biking path between the Danieley Center and the Francis Center will be denoted on the existing hardscape with paint and bollards.
  • Office spaces in Alamance and Powell buildings will be renovated for the faculty and staff that remain as others move into new spaces.
  • Updates to the catwalk and pulley system in McCrary Theatre will take place.
  • The Pei Wei Asian Eatery on the second floor of McEwen Dining Hall will be replaced with a Billy D’s Fried Chicken concept.
  • Two outdoor classroom spaces – one between Martin Alumni Center and Belk Library, and the second between the Inman Admissions Welcome Center parking lot and Loy Center – will be created.