A more welcoming Welcome Center

Construction will begin soon on a new home for the Admissions and Welcome Center. The 21,000-square-foot-building – about three times as large as Starling Hall, where the undergraduate admissions office and Welcome Center are currently located — will be constructed near Starling Hall on Wake Forest Road.

“The new Admissions and Welcome Center will offer the space, technology and resources to serve the needs of the admissions office and, ultimately, the entire university community,” Director of Admissions Martha Allman (’82, MBA ’92) said. “Growth sparked by our success in attracting the best and brightest students has strained our current facility.”

The admissions office has been housed in Starling Hall — built in 1956 as the home for Wake Forest’s president — since it moved there from Reynolda Hall in 1991. The number of prospective students has increased significantly in the last 20 years. The number of prospective students visiting the office rose by 47 percent between 2005 and 2008, from 10,600 prospective students in 2005 to 15,634 prospective students last year.

The new center will feature interview rooms, public meeting spaces, a two-story atrium and a 260-seat auditorium, in addition to staff offices and application processing areas. The auditorium will be available for lectures, performances and activities sponsored by academic departments and campus organizations.

The need for additional interview rooms evolved as the University restructured its admissions process last year and began encouraging all applicants to arrange for a personal interview. “The new center will demonstrate Wake Forest’s commitment to compete for the best students in the country,” Allman said.

The building’s design and materials will be in keeping with the original campus and building design, but it will incorporate modern elements and technologies, according to Jim Alty, associate vice president for facilities and campus services.

“In approaching the design of this building, we’ve emphasized meeting high standards for sustainability,” Alty said. The University anticipates achieving LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) silver certification for the building. Some sustainability features include the following:

  • Water usage will be cut by 40 percent;
  • Energy usage will be trimmed by 24 percent;
  • More than 90 percent of indoor areas will have access to natural light; and
  • Indoor environmental quality will be improved through monitoring to reduce air contaminants.

Categories: Admissions, Student, Sustainability, Wake Forest College