Since Wake Forest purchased Deacon Place last year in order to expand residential housing offerings for students, the space has undergone several changes.
Over the summer, Wake Forest oversaw both cosmetic renovations and safety installments in Deacon Place. Updating the community living area, the space was freshly painted and the carpet was replaced. To enhance security measures, all exterior doors were fitted with automatic closures and automatic locks and the community gates were secured so that only residents would have property access.
Remarking upon these improvements, the Office of Residence Life & Housing has expressed a positive view of the transition to university ownership of Deacon Place.
“Deacon Place was not built by the university, but we have taken the opportunity to bring it up to the standards of our facilities where possible, especially regarding safety and security,” said Assistant Director of Operations & Interim Assistant Director of Assignments Zachary Blackmon. “The transition has been very successful.”
This optimistic view of the potential for Deacon Place extends to many Wake Forest students, who have begun to view the residential community as an attractive housing option. The property is located close to campus, but also far enough away to offer students an “off-campus” experience of apartment-style living with furnished units that include bedrooms with private bathrooms, a kitchen and a living room.
Senior and Deacon Place RA Josh Nnaji commented on why he views Deacon Place as a better housing option for Wake Forest students.
“It still provides that feeling of insulation from a lot of the school’s activities, but it’s also close enough to have access to campus if need be,” Nnaji said. “I think it’s also a nicer way to live, particularly for seniors who have paid their dues in terms of housing.”
Deacon Place will continue to evolve into a more renovated and modern living space as other renovations are completed.
In addition to the aforementioned updates, another important ongoing project is ensuring safety in the pool area of the residential property. The fence around the pool will be replaced and card-controlled access gates will be installed. Until this work is completed, the pool and the gym areas will remain closed.
Likewise, a few technological concerns that arose during the transition period are also currently being addressed. In terms of logistics, Deacon Place is still being serviced by outside providers, rather than university departments. Likewise, the property’s power is serviced by Duke Energy and provided through above-ground power lines, not the underground lines that directly channel power from a substation to the rest of Wake Forest’s campus. This means that Deacon Place is more susceptible to power outages.
Additionally, students living in Deacon Place who have issues with internet access cannot contact the WFU IS Help Desk; instead, they must contact Spectrum Customer Service.
Recognizing both the improvements that have been completed and these other obstacles that are yet to be overcome, Residence Life & Housing aims to ensure the best living experience for Wake Forest students in Deacon Place.
“It is still a work in progress but we are excited about what we’ve done so far and what we will continue to do in the future,” said Blackmon.