The University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) determined a few years ago that the on-campus housing for first-year students was in need of an upgrade and expansion. Multiple on-campus apartments, constructed in the latter 1970s, were scheduled for demolition and replacement.
Then along came Hurricane Florence in the fall of 2018. Apartment demolition was accelerated due to damage to the existing buildings. McKim & Creed teamed with ClarkNexsen and Balfour Beatty Construction to design and construct Seahawk Village, a multi-story dormitory complex that provides 1,800 beds. The team also designed and built a 1,000-space parking deck to accommodate the additional housing and provide event parking. We provided civil engineering, landscape architectural and land planning services for this public/private partnership design-build project.
In keeping with the overall campus master plan, this project includes a large courtyard area bounded on four sides by student housing. This courtyard extends to Chancellor’s Walk, which provides easy access to all portions of the campus and features several iconic statues and art pieces.
A signature component is a custom-designed Seahawk statue located in the center of the courtyard. McKim & Creed was asked to join a team of artists to help design the statue. We worked closely with the artist and UNCW team to design the base and surrounding landscaping. We created 3D models in SketchUp and conducted a nighttime mock-up of the lighting to ensure it properly emphasized the appropriate aspects of the statue.
This project was UNCW’s first public-private partnership (P3). “We believe that [the P3] structure is an effective way to bring the facilities online,” said Miles Lackey, UNCW vice chancellor for business affairs, in a November 19, 2018 Greater Wilmington Business Journal article.