Philip M. Jones oral history interview, 2013 March 12
Philip M. Jones, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, (UNC Charlotte), discusses campus construction and the 2000 revision to the Campus Master Plan. Mr. Jones came to the university in 2001 after a twenty-nine year career in the United States Army as an engineer. He discusses the campus aesthetic resulting from the revised Master Plan, saying that it created a sense of place and reinforced the idea that UNC Charlotte was no longer a "commuter school." Mr. Jones details which buildings were constructed from the proceeds of the 2000 North Carolina Higher Education Bonds Referendum, (Cato, Robinson, College of Education, Woodward, Health and Human Services, Duke, Motorsports Lab, and Grigg Halls, in addition to two regional utility plants and a new home for facilities and campus police). He then discusses legislation passed by the General Assembly to change the way public buildings were funded in North Carolina. The changes focused on two new methods of funding: Construction Manager at Risk and Single Prime Bidding. Mr. Jones contrasts these methods with the previous practice of Multi-Prime Bidding. He notes that once the new options had been given, Single Prime Bidding was Chancellor Woodward's choice during the rest of his tenure. Mr. Jones continues with a description of the construction of the Charlotte Research Institute (CRI), a new part of campus that fronted North Tryon Street. He points out that the traditional Georgian design of the Institute buildings contrasted with the transitional style of new construction on the main campus. However, Chancellor Woodward knew that the distance between the main campus and the CRI would mitigate any disparity in their design, and the brick and precast used in both areas would tie them together. Mr. Jones then talks about new residential construction on the north side of campus, specifically Squires (Wallis) and Lynch Halls, and the planning process for the Chancellor's residence (Bissell House). He discusses the evolution of light rail, and the reasons why Chancellor Woodward was reluctant to bring it on campus during his tenure. Other building and engineering topics discussed include: the creation of an internal loop road on campus and why it was called for in the 2000 revision to the Campus Master Plan; the renovation of J. Murrey Atkins Library - specifically the exterior renovation and the problems incurred with the first attempt to reclad the building in a false brick; and the removal of that material and replacement with real brick. Mr. Jones concludes the interview with a discussion of the evolution of the Student Union, including why the Bonnie E. Cone University Center was not chosen as the new Union, and why the new Student Union was sited where it is today.
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