Local News

UNC Trustees Debate Future Of South Campus Dorm

Posted Updated
Switch to classic wral.com
Morrison Dorm
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's campus is known for its beauty, but critics argue that one of its dorms is in desperate need of repair.

Tearing down Morrison Hall dormitory was on the table Thursday at a Board of Trustees meeting. Members are trying to stay on schedule with a master plan of development on South Campus and increase the number of beds on campus to keep up with projected student enrollment.

"It's just the atmosphere. Everybody's so friendly," said Jamie Kent, a resident at Morrison Dorm. "I'd hate to see this building torn down."

There may be a need for beds at UNC, but trustees agree South Campus dorms like Morrison need an up-to-date safety system and central air conditioning.

"We want more space, but we also want more high-quality space for students, and air conditioning residence halls and making them safe is a big factor for us," UNC Chancellor James Moeser said.

The board has to decide how much money to ask of lawmakers before the July session. Student fees would eventually make up the cost. Demolition and rebuilding could cost $64 million. Renovation would possibly be less than half that amount.

On Thursday, trustees leaned more toward fixing Morrison, both inside and out.

"I think the important thing that came out of this, I think, is more attention to the external appearance of Morrison Hall," Moeser said.

The university promised Chapel Hill that it will move to increase on-campus housing from 42 percent to close to 50 percent of undergraduate students.