Wait Chapel Renovations Among Summer Updates

Wake Forest University took advantage of the summer break to renovate Wait Chapel, begin upgrading fire protection equipment in student housing and continue construction of a new residence hall and a computer technology center.

Officials also used the summer to prepare for the January start of construction on a new 80,000-square-foot classroom building.

In Wait Chapel, workers removed asbestos and installed a new ceiling to improve acoustics, refinished seating, replaced the carpeting and floor tile and improved the chapel’s air conditioning system. A new sound system will be added next year.

“The Wait Chapel project was one of the largest individual projects our guys have ever pulled off in that amount of time,” said Bill Sides, director of facilities management. “We’ve definitely been busy and made a lot of progress this summer.”

New ceilings, floors, wiring, bathrooms and other improvements were also added in Wingate Hall, adjacent to the chapel, for the religion department. A similar upgrade is slated next summer for the remainder of Wingate in preparation of the opening of the new divinity school. It is expected to open by 2000.

Crews also completely renovated a student residential complex called Student Apartments this summer, adding new brick facades, refinishing floors, installing new kitchens, a central air conditioning system and new sprinklers and fire detectors. The detectors automatically relay their alarms to the campus police department.

Other residence halls that received an alarm upgrade include: North, Taylor, Davis, Efird and Luter, which also was equipped with the new sprinklers in student rooms, halls and lobbies.

Along with the renovations, construction continued on several other buildings. The completion dates for those structures: Bridger Field House at Groves Stadium (November); the Indoor Tennis Center adjacent to Groves Stadium (September); and Polo Residence Hall and the Information Systems Building (July 1998). Completion of locker rooms and other facilities this summer will allow Bridger to be used during the upcoming ACC football season.

When it opens next fall, Polo Residence Hall will feature innovative townhouse-style living. Each unit in the 72,000-square-foot building, designed to accommodate 194 students, will have a kitchen, great room and four private bedrooms.

A new 220-space parking lot and new access road to the residence hall and Scales Fine Arts Center were also completed this summer.

Construction on the new Information Systems Building began after a groundbreaking ceremony in May. When completed next summer, the 70,000-square-foot building will become the headquarters for the university’s technology and computer operations. The building will also feature military science (ROTC) classrooms and offices, a bookstore and a food court. The second floor will be left vacant for expansion.

Later this fall, Wake Forest will begin construction on the classroom building, which does not yet have a formal name. Located between Calloway and Carswell Halls, the 80,000-square-foot building will be the new home for the psychology and language departments. Construction is scheduled to begin in January and be completed in July 1999. Excavation starts in mid-September.

Over the next three years, Wake Forest will also be replacing underground power cables as the new lines are routed around the campus and tied into a new Duke Power substation. When completed in 1999, the substation and new network of cable will provide the campus with a more reliable power supply.

Categories: Arts & Culture, Campus Life