Green Room makeover is most visible of numerous summer construction projects
August 11, 2008
Summertime generally brings a flurry of construction and renovation work to campus, and this year proved no exception.
Among three dozen large and small construction projects undertaken by Facilities and Campus Services, the one likely to be most noticed is the renovation of Reynolda Hall’s first-floor main lounge, commonly called the Green Room.
Located in the center of the building, the 36-by-75-foot room serves at various times as a gathering place for parties, receptions and other events, as a passageway for foot traffic moving between Hearn Plaza and Manchester Plaza or as a quiet place for study or even a nap. It is used or seen regularly by every Wake Forest constituency from students, faculty and staff to parents, alumni, trustees and visitors.
During the past three years, Mary Pugel, who is senior executive assistant to President Nathan O. Hatch and participated in the committee which guided the project, began taking note of the room’s importance and its appearance. It had not been refurbished for about 20 years.
“That room is one of the most used spaces in Reynolda Hall and serves a number of purposes, many of them quite public,” Pugel said. “It is also one of the most elegant spaces, and it deserves to look its best. It was time.”
The makeover touched every aspect of the space. Pugel said all choices of materials, fabrics, colors, furnishings, fixtures and artwork revolved around accommodating the varied uses of the room.
New doors set in the interior wall’s arches will match those on the exterior wall and facilitate closing the room during group events to block noise and direct unrelated foot traffic around it. New wall sconces and overhead lighting will provide brighter illumination when needed, while dimmer controls will allow adjusting the lighting to suit other events. New public address speakers and a wireless microphone system have been installed for use during larger gatherings. The 2,700-square-foot room will accommodate about 250 people.
Pugel noted that there was nothing in the room previously that “really said Wake Forest,” so the new color scheme was selected to coordinate with gold and black. Notably, the new carpet is golden tan in color, rather than green.
Less visible but more extensive was the first phase of construction to convert former faculty and staff apartment buildings on Allen Easley Street into student housing. When the entire project is completed in August 2009, nine of the 10 buildings in the complex, which has been renamed North Campus Apartments, will house a total of 196 upperclassmen in 62 apartments. Building One, containing 10 two-bedroom apartments, will provide short-term housing for visiting faculty and new staff transitioning to the area.
During the summer, crews remodeled Buildings Six, Seven and Eight, creating 21 apartments for 67 students. Existing floor plans were retained in Buildings Six and Eight, which have three-person apartments each containing one double bedroom, one single bedroom and one bathroom. Building Seven was reconfigured with each apartment containing two double bedrooms and two bathrooms. Building Six will house the Delta Zeta Sorority and contains a lounge. Building Seven has a new ramp and ADA-accessible apartments on the main floor.
All student apartments will feature new furniture, central air conditioning, new fire and smoke detection systems with sprinklers and building entry by card access readers. Other improvements include upgraded plumbing, electrical wiring, repainting, and new flooring where needed. Laundry rooms were upgraded in January and most kitchen appliances were replaced within the past three years. Students living at North Campus Apartments will continue to park their vehicles in student-designated spaces, such as Lot Q.
Buildings Nine and Ten are projected to be ready for occupancy in January 2009, and the remaining buildings will be remodeled next summer for occupancy in the fall semester of 2009. There will be a mix of three-person and four-person apartments, and Building Nine will also include ADA-accessible apartments.
"I anticipate that North Campus Apartments will become highly desired by upperclassmen,” said Donna McGalliard, director of Residence Life and Housing.
Apartments there will be assigned under the existing lottery system.
Also this summer, planning continued on a highly visible project that will begin in late fall and extend through next summer’s construction period—a major renovation of the food court in Benson University Center. The two-phase plan is designed to offer more food options, more comfortable seating in the central dining area, new outdoor seating, new rest rooms and possibly extended hours.
The entire project is slated for completion in fall 2009.
Other smaller construction projects this summer included the following:
- Six residence hall lounges used by student organizations were upgraded with new paint, rest room fixtures and refinished floors.
- Benson University Center’s Pugh Auditorium was re-carpeted.
- At Scales Fine Arts Center, lighting improvements were made in The Main Theatre and Ring Theatre.
- Interior and exterior repairs were made to the greenhouse at Winston Hall.
- Miscellaneous classrooms and offices across campus were renovated.