Campus News

What’s new on campus

If you haven’t been back to campus much during the pandemic, you’ll see a number of changes, including new buildings, dining options and trails.

construction site for UNC Surgical Tower
The new UNC Medical Center Surgical Tower on Manning Drive is set to be completed in 2024. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Carolina’s campus may look a little different when you arrive back, especially if you haven’t been on the grounds in more than a year.

New buildings are going up, new options for food are open and new services are available.

Several large cranes mark some of the most noticeable changes — construction on the new surgical tower at UNC Hospitals, a new medical education building and a new media center. While these projects began before the pandemic, significant progress has been made in the past 15 months.

The new UNC Medical Center Surgical Tower on Manning Drive will house modernized surgical spaces, enhanced pre-op and post-op rooms for patients and comfortable spaces for loved ones to wait during procedures. The new tower, set to be completed in 2024, will accommodate new equipment and procedures being developed by providers here and around the world.

The UNC School of Medicine’s new medical education building is under construction in the same spot as the old Berryhill Hall. The eight-story building will allow the school to expand its class size and facilitate interactive case-based learning. It will include a 400-seat active learning theater, two floors dedicated to clinical skills and simulated learning and flexible lab, classroom, study and collaboration spaces. Set to be completed in November 2022, the building is partially funded by the Connect NC bond approved by North Carolinians in 2016.

Construction on Curtis Media Center

The old Phillips Annex has been demolished and construction on the Curtis Media Center is underway. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

In the northern part of campus next to Phillips and Carroll Halls, the old Phillips Annex has been demolished and construction on the Curtis Media Center is underway. Part of the Hussman School of Journalism and Media, the 13,000-square-foot media center will house flexible learning spaces, production studios and technical support spaces.

On Franklin Street by Porthole Alley, the UNC Visitors Center debuted just days before the University switched to remote operations and it had to close. Now open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday to Friday, the center welcomes visitors, offering information about campus and a life-size Rameses replica.

sign spelling Ackland in front of the museum

It’s impossible to miss the new sign installed in June at the Ackland Art Museum. (Jon Gardiner/UNC-Chapel Hill)

Small changes, though no less impactful, also took place across the campus. You can’t miss the Ackland Art Museum’s new 23-foot-long sign featuring 4-foot-tall letters in the museum’s signature color, Ackland Fuchsia.

The Morehead Planetarium and Science Center re-opened in November after a multi-year renovation to provide expanded space for compelling exhibits and improved accessibility.

A new Convergent Commons space opened on the first floor of the Genome Sciences Building, part of the Institute for Convergent Science in the College of Arts & Sciences. This space allows multidisciplinary teams to come together to address society’s greatest challenges.

The department of communication’s new Media Art Space @ 108 E. Franklin unites media production and performance studies under one roof. Part of the College of Arts & Sciences, it will be a place for Carolina students to fuel their interdisciplinary creative projects.

Rendering of new plaza

Construction is underway for the National Pan-Hellenic Council Legacy Plaza that honors nine historically African American fraternities and sororities and their members.

Construction is underway between the north and south Student and Academic Services Buildings for the National Pan-Hellenic Council Legacy Plaza that honors nine historically African American fraternities and sororities and their members. These organizations have made an impact on the campus with their commitment to civic engagement, leadership, academic achievement and community.

Beard Hall, one of the buildings housing the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, was recently renovated to update technology, improve accessibility, and create more learning spaces, patient simulation rooms and open office space for the Eshelman Institute for Innovation.

Let’s grab lunch

Café Converge in the Genome Sciences Building and The Atrium in Gillings School of Global Public Health reopen July 19. And food trucks will return to Marsico Hall to offer more dining options.

In August for the fall semester, more dining options are set to open, including those with indoor and outdoor seating.

Employees can visit dining.unc.edu/menu-hours to see what’s open.

New amenities for employees

The newly rebranded Media and Design Center located in the R.B. House Undergraduate Library offers assistance, software and tutorials to staff, faculty and students working on audio, video and print projects.

Carolina’s Outdoor Education Center opened two new trails last fall, the 1.1-mile Hillbilly Holler and the 0.7-mile Shagbark Loop. Use the center’s map to plan your hike.

Lots of things have changed on campus, but a few things haven’t: summer’s thick canopy of trees, the brick sidewalks and our iconic historic landmarks.