News

Workers Put Finishing Touches on Two New Collegiate Buildings

by Davidson College
The new Davidson College Store
The new Davidson College Store serves as a gateway to the town's residential district.

College employees and other workers are scrambling to complete two large building projects before the school year begins-a residence hall and college store.

The store, located downtown at the corner of Main Street and Depot Street, consolidates three former store/bookstore facilities into a single space. The residence hall, located beside Tomlinson Residence Hall on Patterson Court, will house 251 sophomores.

The as-yet-unnamed $20-million residence hall, structured as a four story-wing and a five-story wing, has 117 double rooms and 17 singles. The two wings share a central commons which includes a gas log fireplace, lounge seating, study tables, a computer workspace, an outdoor barbecue grill and a full kitchen. Other amenities within the buildings include vending machines, a laundry room and a fitness center accessible to the entire campus community.

Most of the residential floors house 30 students in two wings of 15 students each. One smaller floor houses 11 students. Each wing will contain mostly double rooms, with two singles per floor. Students in each wing will share a common bathroom, and each floor will have a central television lounge, a kitchenette area, and a private study lounge. All rooms have a sink and internet port, and all areas have wireless internet accessibility. Access to upper floors is available through an interior stairwell and an elevator.

Construction workers finishing up the new residence hall
A view of the north wing of the new residence hall, obscuring the almost idential south wing.

Student resident advisers will live on each floor, and a professional residence life area coordinator will live in the building.

The residence hall will be the college's fifth LEED certified building. Its energy efficient features include motion-activated lighting throughout. As many as 200 workers have been on site rushing to get the building ready for early-returning athletes who will take occupancy on August 8.

The new Davidson College Store, as it will be named, consolidates three retail locations into one. It replaces the next-door college spirit store "Cats on Main," which was the college's Main Street souvenir shop for the past three years. It also replaces the College Store on the atrium level of the Alvarez College Union, and the twice-a-year temporary bookstore established at the beginning of each semester in the College Union Sprinkle Room for sale of student textbooks.

The store serves as a high-profile gateway from the campus to the downtown business district. The 6,000-square-foot building will offer Wildcat logo apparel and souvenirs on the ground floor, and textbook service on the upper floor for the 15,000 or so of academic books students purchase each semester.

Little Diversified Architecture designed and engineered the new store. It is defined from the outside by large floor-to-ceiling display windows framed by awnings printed with the college logo. The dominant indoor feature is a large atrium along the Depot Street side that and links the top and ground floor spaces. Energy efficient LED lights are also used throughout the building.

Ten-foot-high ceilings on the ground floor and nine-foot-high ceilings on the top floor, combined with the display windows, give the store an open and airy feel. A ground floor sales station anchors the atrium and is draped with festive banners printed with college hallmark phrases. The floor area top and bottom is a combination of hardwood and a tartan-patterned carpet. Though it's not the specifically the Davidson tartan, it does reinforce the region's Scottish heritage. Part of the ground floor ceiling is a tin-styled stamped pattern.

New mobile and stationary shelving will allow for flexibility in display of merchandise. The top floor will be devoted entirely to textbooks and a lounge area furnished with sofas and chairs. A second checkout station upstairs will mean that merchandise shoppers downstairs won't be slowed down by lines of students buying textbooks.