In recognition of the rehabilitation of four buildings on the university's Dahlonega Campus, the University of North Georgia (UNG) received the Regents Award of Excellence from the University System of Georgia (USG) Board of Regents at the 18th Annual Facilities Officers Conference.
Renovations on the Merritt E. Hoag Student Center, the Stewart Student Success Center, and Barnes and Young halls took place over the span of three years, with each building taking about a year.
"The final rehabilitations are spectacular — bringing four under-utilized and run-down buildings back into productive life," said Jim James, vice chancellor of facilities for the Board of Regents. "All systems throughout all four buildings have been replaced, the historic character of the buildings has been preserved and the spaces between the buildings are now more in keeping with the original character of the campus."
Barnes Hall, which was constructed in 1935 as a residence hall, was rehabilitated for office and administration space. Young Hall, built in 1935 as the library, was rehabilitated for general classroom space. The Hoag Student Center, built in 1969, and Stewart, constructed in 1971 as a replacement for the Young Hall Library, were renovated to house student support functions.
"This project took an aged portion of our Dahlonega Campus and turned it into a more modern and efficient hub while keeping the traditional exterior look associated with the campus' identity and history," said Mac McConnell, senior vice president for business and finance at UNG. "We hope the many students, faculty and staff who use these buildings are enjoying the fruits of the project, including the new aesthetic appeal of the interiors, and we thank everyone involved in the project for their hard work — they earned this award."
Also, a $1.2 million central chiller plant was installed during the project, connecting these four buildings and four others and providing a more energy-efficient performance for all eight structures.
Accepting the award for UNG were Todd Berman, director of UNG Facilities-North, and Jace Oliver, project manager for facilities and operations on UNG's Dahlonega Campus. Also present were George Flynn and Lars Finderup of Flynn Finderup Architects; Stewart Teegarden, project manager of Gay Construction; and John Jefferson, project executive at Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission.
"This award goes to a project that redefines the Genius Loci or 'spirit of the place' on a campus," reads the award's description. "It creates or re-creates and embodies the special atmosphere of that campus…that particular special place. It is more than a group of buildings, it is the space between the buildings, and the totality of the experiences created there. It is the physical manifestation of the concept, 'the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.'"