Semans Academic and Administration Building Renovation

Semans Academic and Administration Building Renovation

The Semans Academic and Administration Building was designed by Szostak Design, an award-winning architectural design and planning firm based in Chapel Hill and the architect of record for the Durham Performing Arts Center. Davie Construction of Advance is the general contractor. Their portfolio includes several projects at Elon and Wake Forest universities.

This renovation will be funded by the Connect NC Bond Act, which was approved by North Carolina voters in 2016. UNCSA received $10.9 million for two projects related to our strategic plan: $8 million for repurposing the old library, and $2.9 million for repairs to and partial renovation of Alex Ewing Performance Place.

The project will involve repurposing the space to accommodate various multipurpose and seminar rooms; rehearsal spaces; a recording studio; Drama and Dance faculty offices and conference rooms; a campus event space for meetings and receptions; and university administration, including offices for the chancellor, provost, chief of staff and general counsel. We expect construction to take 16 months, with the project concluding as late as fall 2020.

Disruption to pedestrian and vehicular traffic should be expected due to the central campus location of the project. Please refer to this map for a complete picture of what areas will be affected. Specifically:

  • Access to the High School Residence Halls, Agnes de Mille Theatre, and the Dance Costume Shop will be affected.
  • The part of de Mille Drive and the parking lot (Lot E) behind Sanford Residence Hall will be closed. Already, gravel has been poured in the High School “Backyard” to serve as temporary parking. If you have reserved spaces in that area, you will receive notification from our Police about when and where to park when construction begins.


Note that part of the construction project includes the removal of the overgrowth of trees that blocks the north end of Workplace, where the building faces Daniels Plaza. The long-term plan for the area includes extensive landscaping that will be placed in concert with an outdoor amphitheater, to which the existing topography lends itself.