Case Studies

UNC Charlotte Parking Deck J & Regional Utility Plant: An Extreme Makeover for a First-class Living and Learning Community

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In March 2012 the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) issued the $400 million plan for a much needed facelift of the campus’ South Village. Touted the extreme makeover of South Village, numerous contractors began work on-site in June 2012. Local North Carolina-based contractor New Atlantic Contracting (New Atlantic) is tackling multiple sites in South Village, including the Parking Deck J (Deck J) and Regional Utility Plant portion of the sizable expansion.

According to an article published in the Charlotte Business Journal, expansion isn’t an option, it’s a necessity. UNCC is unable to operate at capacity due to housing and facilities limitations. Meanwhile, student enrollment increased 20 percent over the past five years. The university saw one of its largest graduating classes – over 20,000 students – in fall 2011. The development is also in reaction to applications for the fall 2012 semester, which are up well over 16 percent.

The school is indeed growing, and New Atlantic is proud to be part of the team that will make it possible. “We’re happy to be part of the brand-new village coming to UNCC,” details Amber Smith, marketing coordinator at New Atlantic. “We’re in the midst of two side-by-side projects between the parking deck and the utility plant. Both will help support the increased freshman population on campus.”

Since 2002 New Atlantic has focused on providing creative, intelligent and cost-effective construction services to a variety of clients in institutional, educational, industrial, energy, medical, religious and multifamily environments. The company has 40 employees who strive to ensure a positive experience for every owner. “The quality, experience and performance of our people have resulted in successful project completions that exceed expectations,” shares Smith.

The South Village Renovation

The modernization and expansion of South Village will take the section of the UNCC campus from early 1960s to 2013 by upgrading student housing, parking and dining facilities. The renovation includes two five-story freshman residence halls, averaging over $30 million, and the addition of 109 apartments and 121 suite rooms.

A dining hall and nearby residence halls will be supported by the increased parking from Deck J and the utility plant. University officials say that over the course of just a few short years, South Village will be transformed from the 1970s to a first-class living and learning community.

As the construction manager at risk on the parking and utility lab projects, New Atlantic has a substantial $22.8 million worth of work to navigate. Chris Zananiri is the project manager on both jobs for the company, which is teaming up with Donley’s as a joint venture.

“We’ve worked closely with Donley’s on the 14-month job,” explains Smith. “Deck J consists of six levels and over 1,265 spaces. The total area combining both sites is over 401,800 square feet. This isn’t your average parking or utility job. Due to the sheer size and proximity to other sites, we have had to develop the schedule and sequence the projects accordingly.”

Deck J will replace the old surface lots, sitting on a combination of drilled piers and shallow foundations. The concrete framing consists of cast-in-place columns, post-tensioned beams and slabs on form deck. Deck J also includes two structural precast stair towers, an elevator shaft and canopies with the exterior comprised of decorative precast clads and ornamental aluminum features.

Meeting Expectations

With an aggressive team and schedule, New Atlantic’s goal is to reach completion of Deck J and the utility plant by July 2013. “We’ve run into our share of challenges,” admits Smith. “We’ve had to balance earthwork with a tight site utilizing unique phases and storage methods. Deck J and the utility plant are both in close proximity to other residence and dining hall construction, so it’s taken major coordination and communication with the university and other contractors.”

According to Beth Hardin, UNCC vice chancellor of business affairs, the additions are essential to meeting student’s needs and preparing UNCC for future growth. “Students of today have very different expectations than the students of 40 years ago,” she shares. Through the multimillion-dollar expansion UNCC will be able to operate as a fully functional university.

New Atlantic’s work on Deck J and the Regional Utility Plant will support the university for many years to come, serving students, faculty visitors and alumni. New Atlantic Contracting looks forward to July 2013 when UNC’s Charlotte Parking Deck J & Regional Utility Plant will welcome a new wave of freshman to the campus of University of North Carolina Charlotte.

For more information about New Atlantic Contracting, please visit:

Published on: June 29, 2013

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