Classes may have been on the backburner, but just because it was summer doesn't mean Lenoir-Rhyne University was idle.
It was a beehive of activity with construction and improvements made throughout campus in anticipation of the 2021-22 academic year.
"We want to give our students a transformation experience, and improving some spaces on campus and better utilizing others are steps that we earmarked in our strategic plan," said Dr. Fred Whitt, university president. "We're grateful for everyone's hard work over the summer making all these improvements and renovations happen. It's a process that never truly ends, but we're thrilled with the direction in which we're headed."
As fall 2021 term kicks off with the first week of classes, here is a guide into improvements that occurred on campus over summer break.
- Cloninger House: One of the oldest structures on campus, Cloninger houses The Graduate School and, due to ever-increasing enrollment, is a heavily visited space on campus. Therefore, it was key to improve the space by installing a new roof, siding and revamping interior office spaces. An endowment from the Cloninger family helped contribute to the renovations.
- LED Lighting Project: LR has partnered with Duke Energy on a case study to make the university a green space by adding more lighting to campus and converting aging fixtures to house LED lighting. One phase of the project, which included LED conversions in the educational spaces and residence halls, was completed over the summer. Lighting was also renovated in Lineberger and Cromer Center.
- Fritz Conrad Residence Hall: With the generous contributions of alumnus David Westcott '76, a new exterior and beautification project occurred that provided a new patio and entertainment area to the exterior of the building. The university also removed carpeting in the building and replaced it with vinyl tile and replaced air conditioning in the common areas.
- 8th Street Improvement: The City of Hickory partnered with LR to transition 8th street to be more pedestrian-friendly. A bike lane was added, the sidewalk was expanded and an official crosswalk is now in place near the track and at the corner of 5th and 10th streets. Also, a lane was removed to slow down traffic. Earlier in the year, outdoor lighting was enhanced to ensure students could safely walk to Hickory House.
- Same Faces, Different Spaces: The Alex Lee Career and Professional Development Center moved to Mauney-Schaeffer, while information technology is moving to new offices in the library's basement. Academic advising is moving to the old career services offices in the second floor of the library.
- P.E. Monroe: HVAC mini-splits were added to the offices and classrooms.
- Paint and Power Wash: The band and choir rooms in Mauney music building received a fresh new coat of paint, as did the baseball dugout and several classrooms in the Rhyne building. Meanwhile, the entrance to George Hall, Morgan Hall, Lohr Hall, the pavilion, sidewalks and more were pressure washed.
- New Roof: The guest house behind Lohr Hall, Mauney Music, Belk Centrum and library offices all received a new roof.
- Athletic Upgrades: A $15 million project was announced to completely renovate Moretz Stadium with new bleachers, club seats, working spaces, entrances and a new videoboard. Construction is scheduled to be complete prior to the start of the 2022 football season. As part of the project, parking was added to the practice field south of the stadium. Shuford Gymnasium also received a new playing surface, in addition to a fresh coat of paint in the lobby.
- Paved Parking: The parking lot across from the quad next to University Christian High School was repaved.