UNC Asheville starts work on $33.8 million residence project after owls learn how to fly

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unc asheville student residences
UNC Asheville student residences (rendering from Hanbury)

UNC Asheville has initiated construction of residence halls, a project that was delayed after baby owls were found in the area.

A university spokesperson said the two owlets have learned to fly and said there would be a groundbreaking on April 28, according to a WLOS report.

Consisting of multiple buildings, with apartments of four to six rooms, the new residences will be UNC Asheville’s first apartment-style housing and increase available on-campus housing by 294 beds or by 20 percent when the project is completed in summer 2018, the university said in its announcement.

The new student housing option will be built along Founders Drive below Brown Hall.

Concurrent construction will take place on the other side of Brown Hall with renovations to Highsmith Union and the addition of a multipurpose room that will connect to the catering kitchen in Brown Hall. The 5,000 sq. ft. multipurpose room will increase the university’s ability to host campus and community events, from large lectures to banquets and conferences, while the addition of a student-life porch will provide meeting spaces and open areas for student organizations, as well as an area to showcase a student art gallery and a more central location for the Intercultural Center.

The estimated costs of the projects are $12.4 million for the renovations to Highsmith Union and $33.8 million for construction of the six-building residence project.

UNC Asheville will continue construction projects through 2018 and 2019 with renovations planned for Owen Hall and Carmichael Hall funded by the 2016 Connect NC Bond. More information about each project is available online at facilities.unca.edu/construction.

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