East Neighborhood Commons, Acorn Coffee Shop relocation, HBB updates among summer renovation projects

Elon has launched a range of construction and renovation projects during the summer months to bring upgrades to facilities on campus.

Following a busy year of construction that included the completion of Innovation Hall and Founders Hall, crews are continuing several projects on Elon’s campus from last summer and beginning new ones.

Assistant Vice President for Facilities and Chief Facilities Officer Brad Moore spoke with Today at Elon and provided updates on the multitude of renovations happening on Elon’s campus.

New brick gateway

The new gateway signage at the northern entrance to Elon University on North O’Kelly Avenue.

A brick gateway signage wall has been installed at the intersection of North O’Kelly Avenue and University Drive. A tower is being built in the median of North O’Kelly Avenue during the summer months.

Combined, the two projects will provide a new welcome to visitors to campus, including prospective students and their families.

“This gateway was added to give clear way-finding for guests coming to campus. There is some ambiguity about whether people should enter campus at Williams Avenue or O’Kelly, and we want to give our guests clear direction on where they should enter campus,” Moore said. “Coming in on O’Kelly brings them directly to The Inn at Elon and the Inman Admissions Building.”

East Neighborhood Commons updates

Construction to build new commons building in East Neighborhood.

Students moving into the East Neighborhood will find a new commons building this fall at East Haggard Avenue and Oak Avenue.

The three-story, 45,000-square-foot East Neighborhood Commons will provide residential, office and gathering space to the university’s newest residential neighborhood. Once completed for the start of the 2024-25 academic year, the building will include 90 residential rooms for undergraduate students, apartments for faculty and staff in residence, residence life offices, a large multi-purpose space and student engagement areas.

Along a familiar brick facade, the building will include large windows that will incorporate ample natural light into gathering spaces. East Neighborhood currently has more than 300 beds and the addition of the new commons building will bring a host of additional amenities to neighborhood residents while expanding its size.

Rendering of East Neighborhood Commons building.

“This commons building provides these amenities plus another 90 beds which get us close to the 500 to 600 beds that most of the other neighborhoods have,” Moore said.

Gerald L. Francis Center

Renovations underway to Francis Center, home of Elon’s School of Health Sciences.

The renovation of what was formerly warehouse space in Francis Center began earlier this year, and are on track for completion in early 2024 as construction moves ahead this summer.

Once completed, the renovated space will include two floors of skills labs, classrooms and student studies for the undergraduate and graduate programs within the School of Health Sciences. “This the third of four planned renovations to allow these programs to expand,” Moore said.

Updates to to the Francis Center during summer 2022 included 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 was also a new entry garden dedicated to donors that have given their bodies to science.

Next summer, the fourth and final phase of this set of planned updates will include an office suite for nursing faculty and updating the commons space in the building.

McMichael Science Center

Workers providing updates to McMichael Science Building.

A second series of renovations to McMichael Science Center is now underway following last summer’s updates. “Last summer, we expanded and updated faculty offices for Chemistry, Biology and Environmental Science. This summer’s renovation is further developing the teaching and research labs for those departments,” Moore said.

This work will be completed by the start of the fall semester and future phases of renovations will continue to update other spaces in the building.

With the opening of Founders Hall and Innovation Hall providing space for labs that were formerly housed in McMichael, the vacated spaces have received significant updates over the last two summers.

Hook, Brannock and Barney Halls

Renovations being done to Hook, Brannock and Barney Residence Halls.

The first phase of renovations to Hook, Brannock and Barney dormitories is underway this summer, as the bathrooms and staff apartments are updated.

“Next summer, we will be back in the building updating the bedrooms. This renovation is the final building in our Historic Neighborhood renovations,” Moore said.

For the last few summers, the Historic Neighborhood’s residence halls have been undergoing renovation, with Sloan, West, Virginia, Smith and Carolina already overhauled. Last summer, Carolina Hall received an ADA-accessible ramp, ADA-accessible rooms and the finishes and furniture in the building were updated.

Acorn Coffee shop

Updates being made to Koenigsberger Learning Center as Acorn Coffee Shop will relocate there.

Space on the first floor of the Koenigsberger Learning Center has been upfitted for the arrival of the university’s Acorn Coffee Shop in the heart of campus from its current location in downtown Elon.

The majority of work will be completed over the summer but opening may not occur until sometime in the fall semester once food preparation equipment is delivered.

Other updates on campus include smaller projects of interior renovations, furniture replacements and outdoor amenities.