Construction changes campus landscape


Cooper Sullivan

Construction on a roadway through Davis Field is nearly complete.

Maddie Stopyra, Staff Writer

Freshmen, we’re here to tell you the ways your new home has grown and altered in the past few months, and to returning students, the construction that began last academic year has finally come to fruition.  

Alongside residential renovations, the university has undertaken two major summer projects, including an extension of Wake Forest Road from the Reynolda Road entrance. In keeping with the original campus plan, the road will pass through Davis Field, located between Scales Fine Arts Center and Olin Physical Laboratory. 

With an arch on Hearn Plaza as the central feature, the road through Davis Field has been constructed to enhance the arrival experience on campus. Since the field is frequently occupied by students for recreational and extracurricular purposes, the announcement of construction sparked outrage among the student body last year. However, students will still be able to use the swings that hang from the large legacy oak trees and the Spirit of the Old Gold and Black, Wake Forest’s marching band, will continue to practice in the space. New trees have also been planted for aesthetic purposes. 

Additionally, the extension will improve traffic circulation near Z. Smith Reynolds Library, Reynolda Hall and Benson Center. Additional lighting in the area has been installed to help students feel safer on campus at night. Modifications to Lot B, which is between Efird and Davis Residence Halls, have also been implemented to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety. 

An emphasis on transportation safety and efficiency inspired the second major project of the summer. A centralized shuttle stop replacing Lot N has been installed as the first phase of the 2021 Wake Forest mobility study, which is a detailed layout of current and future projects aiming to improve campus transportation. This stop, located between Poteat and Kitchen Residence Halls, includes two bus shelters and will be used as a transportation hub for campus shuttles. 

“The new centralized shuttle stop will increase efficiency in shuttle service for the Reynolda Campus,” an Inside WFU post on March 16 said. “The [stop] will improve route times by allowing all shuttles to arrive and depart from a central location — creating a schedule that is easier to navigate for faculty, staff and students.” 

Construction on this shuttle stop is coupled with improvements to Wake Forest Road at the University Parkway entrance. These updates include a new right-hand turn and aim to improve traffic patterns near Lot N. 

Both the Davis field and Lot N projects are set to be completed by Fall 2022. More information about campus construction can be found on the Facilities and Campus Services website. 

Additionally, beginning in early November 2021, Johnson and Bostwick residence halls received renovations to both exterior and interior spaces. 

With a heavy focus on residential accessibility, the newly renovated spaces feature four-story additions to entryways and two-story entrance lobbies. Previously, Johnson and Bostwick’s residents moved from floor to floor through interior stairwells. Now, elevators have been installed in both residence halls to enhance convenience. In preparation for new residents, interior spaces have been updated with tiled bathrooms, carpeted corridors and vinyl plank flooring. Common spaces, which are both academic and social hubs for students, are designed to be open areas with improved communal kitchens. In contrast to the former singular kitchen area with outdated appliances located in the basement of each residence hall, the newly installed kitchens in the common spaces include new appliances and cabinetry. 

Construction on the Johnson and Bostwick halls is set to be completed by freshman move-in on August 17. Delays on a granite shipment may cause continued work on the ramp and stairs between the buildings; however, both Johnson and Bostwick will be fully occupied with incoming freshmen after freshman move-in.