Wednesday, July 24, 2024

UNCW reveals post-Galloway demo development plans

The university will begin planning a third parking deck and residence hall to replace Galloway Hall, to be demolished next month. (Port City Daily/file photo)

WILMINGTON — The UNCW Board of Trustees passed two preliminary authorizations affecting the future campus footprint at a special meeting on Tuesday. 

READ MORE: UNCW prepping for July demolition of Galloway Hall

The university will begin planning a third parking deck and residence hall to replace Galloway Hall, the university’s oldest dorm marked for demolition this summer. The trustees unanimously gave the green light for advanced planning, not to exceed $750,000 per project. The costs associated with outlining the projects will be charged to the transportation and parking fund and housing fund respectively. 

According to the university, it is interested in exploring the construction of what’s being dubbed “Student Housing Village Phase III.” 

“It’s likely in the site where Galloway is, but the product part of this project would identify the number of beds needed and the appropriate location and how to move forward,” Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Mark Morgan said at Tuesday’s board meeting. 

UNCW’s 2024 Campus Master Plan accounts for a 380-bed residence hall slated to take Galloway’s place. Housing the campus’ future growth is a major theme in the plan, which has been in development since March 2023. 

Last summer, the university revealed it had enrolled more freshmen and sophomores, both required to reside on campus, than it had space to house them. This comes despite the university finishing up construction on four new residence halls, totaling 1,810 beds, since 2020.

Around 245 students were told they would have to reside in dormitory common rooms and office space or triple-up in some bigger dorm rooms for the 2023 fall semester.

In January, UNCW approved a leasing contract with Plato’s Lofts, a popular student housing facility on Randall Boulevard. The university will be taking over 72 beds at the complex this summer, with plans to expand to more beds in summer 2025.

Morgan’s presentation to trustees states “new housing is needed in the southern portion of campus to better accommodate future growth and to appropriately meet students’ needs and expectations.”

It says benefits include improved student experience by providing access to modern amenities, enhanced student engagement, greater convenience and access to applicable student services, and a reduction in UNCW’s housing backlog. 

Morgan said the university expects preliminary planning to come in less than $750,000 and its intent is to fund the project with debt service, which will need approval from the North Carolina General Assembly. 

With the addition of more student capacity, the university is also exploring adding another parking deck in the northwestern quadrant of its main campus, though the location suggests it would also serve a good portion of visitors. 

The deck would be situated near the recently expanded Randall Library and the Kenan Auditorium, which has scheduled renovations along with the campus master plan’s proposed welcome center.

The university states the benefits include making parking more intuitive and accessible for visitors, increasing parking capacity for all users, improving campus aesthetics, reducing traffic congestion on central campus, enhancing the ability to control access as needed to accommodate special events.

A size for the parking deck will be determined in preliminary planning. 

“One of the reasons we’re starting this early is because projects of this magnitude take about a year before we get approval from the legislature to get to move forward,” Morgan said. 

Though the anticipated planning price is around $375,000, the vice chancellor explained the approved $750,000 will allow the university to begin the design stages as it waits on the General Assembly’s approval of its debt service. 

Tuesday’s two approvals indicate the first steps taken in line with the 10-year master plan. Aside from the Galloway replacement, the plan suggests a residential village with 1,400 beds and two more residence halls adding 1,000 beds. 

Already legislature-approved and on the way is a Health Education Building and the university is also planning two integrated sciences buildings for the College of Science and Engineering and College of Health and Human Services to collaborate.

Other major developments include an addition to the Cultural Arts Building, and an expansion of Cameron Hall, home of the business school. The campus area master plan also includes another unnamed academic building, plus:

  • A hotel and conference center 
  • Renovation to Trask Coliseum or new arena 
  • Soccer and tennis complexes
  • New, 100,000-square-foot recreation facility

The board of trustees are scheduled to finalize the plan at its August meeting.

[Editor’s Note: After publication, UNCW informed PCD it is taking over 72 beds at Plato’s Lofts, not the entire complex. The article has been updated.]

Reach out to Brenna Flanagan at

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