UNCW breaks ground on four new residential buildings


Travis Stoker

UNCW Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard, right, speaks to the crowd at a groundbreaking ceremony for new residence halls to be built by fall 2020 and 2021.

Fairley Lloyd, Assistant News Editor

UNC Wilmington Chancellor Jose V. Sartarelli, the UNC Board of Trustees, and other community and university members broke ground on the new on-campus residence halls in a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday.

This open event took place on the lawn outside of the Hub building across from Galloway Hall and Graham-Hewlett. A large group of students, faculty, and staff were in attendance.

The event included brief speeches from Sartarelli, Vice Chancellor Pat Leonard and Housing Director Peter Groenendyk.

Leonard gave accolades to the housing staff for their efforts in renovating, which has been underway for two years now. She gave special mention to Groenendyk and the Housing and Residence Life staff, saying that the architectural team who will build new living spaces for students were inspired by his models.

She added that Groenendyk and the housing staff has “a long and important history” when it comes to constructing housing on campus before turning the floor to Groenendyk.

Groenendyk said that the new buildings will house over 1,800 students. The first two buildings, designed to be pod-style like Galloway Hall, will be completed by fall 2020. They are intended for freshmen.

The second two buildings, which are to be suite-style like Graham-Hewlett, will be completed by fall 2021 and are intended to house upperclassmen.

Groenendyk mentioned numerous innovations to the new buildings, such as study areas and an amphitheater for school events, similar to the one outside of the Fisher University Union and Fisher Student Center.

The plan is to not just build new living complexes for students in lieu of Hurricane Florence, but also to improve student living from previous years.

After ending his speech, Groenendyk turned the floor to Chancellor Sartarelli.

Sartarelli spoke of the renovation taking place on campus. He explained that the destruction caused by Florence was taken into mind while building the new complexes — the new buildings are designed to withstand winds of 135 miles per hour.

He said that the new residential buildings are a part of a “strategic growth” plan to bring more students to UNCW, a long-term goal of Sartarelli’s since he became chancellor in 2016.