Wey Hall, pictured March 22, 2022. Click on the image for a full view. Photo by Chase Reynolds
The Wey Hall renovation and modernization is one of several major construction projects being planned at Appalachian State University to enhance the App State Experience.
The project supports the strategic plan of App State and the university’s goals and metrics associated with the University of North Carolina System’s strategic plan. It will benefit students and academics.
Wey Hall, which houses the Department of Art, was built in 1976 and has never been renovated. It lacks fire suppression and sprinkler systems. Other major building systems are also reaching the end of their useful lives, such as plumbing, elevators, and electrical, heating/cooling and ventilation systems. Ventilation is particularly important in this building, given that students work in metal work and darkroom processes that produce fumes.
Originally, the university planned to renovate the building’s third floor only. In May 2018, the University of North Carolina Board of Governors authorized the university to spend up to $200,000 for advance planning for this third floor renovation. During the course of planning, it became apparent that a comprehensive, full-building modernization would be required.
Renovation and modernization of the entire building will cost approximately $17 million and will include aesthetic improvements in addition to addressing all major building systems. In March 2019, the Board of Governors authorized App State to spend up to $2 million of the $17 million needed to create preliminary building designs, a process known as advance planning. LS3P was selected as the designer.
An architectural rendering of a gallery for students, part of the proposed designs for Wey Hall's renovations. Image courtesy of LS3P Associates.
The advance planning and programming phases of the project are complete, and LS3P is currently drafting developmental designs — these include details concerning finishes, building layout, HVAC equipment and more.
For the programming phase, completed in early May, LS3P developed schematic designs, or architectural renderings, for the project. LS3P created the designs after meeting with and interviewing various project stakeholders, including members of the Department of Art’s academic program areas, to determine their specific needs and incorporate those into the designs.
The university plans to solicit and finalize the selection of a developer for the project in fall 2022, with construction slated to begin in spring 2023 and conclude in late summer 2024.
App State will have office swing space available in East Hall for Wey Hall faculty displaced by the renovation. Classes and labs held in Wey Hall will be accommodated in various academic buildings.
How is it funded?
In the FY 2021–22 biennial budget bill signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on Nov. 18, 2021, the North Carolina General Assembly allocated $15 million in renovation support for Wey Hall — this includes $10 million for renovating facility systems and $5 million for making repairs to the building’s roof and exterior.
This project may also be funded with a combination of donations and carry forward funds.
Who will benefit?
Wey Hall houses the Department of Art, which offers more than 100 course sections to approximately 1,400 students. The building’s classrooms also are used by University College for general education and first year seminar courses.
How does it support UNC System Goals and Metrics?
Providing the best environment for teaching and learning, particularly for first-year students, can impact recruitment and retention.
Major current projects:
An aerial view of areas receiving millennial campus designation at Appalachian State University. Video by Marie Freeman