In a letter released to the UNC Charlotte community today, UNC Charlotte Chancellor Philip Dubois announced that the Belk Tower will be dismantled over holiday break in December.
Dubois said that engineers and university personnel suggest that there are significant structural issues and deterioration within the tower.
“Although the Tower is not an immediate risk to campus, it does pose a potential safety hazard and it is prudent to take precautions,” said Dubois.
The deterioration is explained to be the “natural result of age-related corrosion, water penetration and rust that have damaged the Tower’s concrete, metal and electrical components,” said Dubois in his statement.
Dubois says that the restoration of the tower would cost an estimated $1 million.
A construction fence will be placed around the Belk Tower to create a pedestrian safety zone until December, when it is expected to be dismantled.
The university plans to redesign the area into what will be known as the Belk Plaza.
“Removal of the Tower provides us with an opportunity to redesign the entire quadrangle formed by the surrounding buildings to create a more functional outside environment for rest, reflection and conversation,” said Dubois.
According to Dubois, the university will select a landscape design firm to complete the project later this semester.
The Belk Tower was built in 1970 and funded through a gift by Irwin Belk and his brothers John, Thomas and Henderson to create a central quad on campus.