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A look toward the future - Queens combines modern design with historic charm

imageThe Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation
01/10/14 -  

The January 2014 issue of PUPN (Private University Products and New) magazine features a story about Queens' latest building additions and architectural design. The story is also viewable online.

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A Look Toward the Future

Queens University of Charlotte Combines Modern Design with Historic Charm

Queens University of Charlotte is a private, co-ed, masters-level University with roots in Charlotte, and the Southeast, that date back to 1857. The University cherishes its history and southern charm while embracing the modern appeal of its location in a New South city. This unique combination makes for an intimate college experience that is rich in excellent teaching and fosters intellectual curiosity.

Queens serves 2,400 undergraduate and graduate students in academic programs across the liberal arts and sciences as well as the professional fields of business, communication, nursing, health and education. As Queens continues to add academic programs, it's also working hard to modernize its beautiful campus.

Over the last year, three new buildings have been unveiled - The Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation, Rogers Hall and a combined seven-story parking deck/residence hall. Blending the new with the old, each building stays true to the original red-brick Georgian architecture and the campus' park-like design, making Queens a beloved Charlotte landmark.

The Levine Center for Wellness and Recreation

During a special ribbon-cutting ceremony in August 2013, Queens President Pamela Davies and philanthropists Leon and Sandra Levine officially opened the Levine Center as hundreds of excited students, faculty and staff looked on. 

After two years of construction, the Levine Center replaced the outdated Ovens Athletic Center, a gymnasium built in the 1950s. The Levine Center offers multiple options for health and recreation and serves as a central spot for students to exercise, cheer on the Royals, study or just gather with friends. 

"This is more than a gym and it's not just for our athletes. It's really been designed for our entire campus community and I expect it will become the heartbeat of campus life," said Bill Nichols, Queens' vice president for campus planning.  

The $30 million facility was made possible through 100 percent donor support, including an $8 million lead gift from the Leon Levine Foundation, the largest gift from a foundation in the University's history.

Levine Center highlights include:  

Performance Gym

The main attraction is the performance gym with its three side-by-side basketball/volleyball courts. Moveable walls and retractable bleachers allow the space to accommodate intramurals, basketball and volleyball practices simultaneously. 

Aquatic Center

Home to Queens' thriving men's and women's swim teams, the natatorium features a 33-meter stretch pool and moveable bulkhead. PE classes, recreational swimming and intramurals also use the pool.

Fitness Center

The fitness center includes the latest cardiovascular machines, strength equipment, free weights and a functional training area for stretching, core exercise and flexibility development. It boasts a sound system and both wall-mounted and machine-mounted TVs.

Other Features

A two-lane indoor walking/jogging track; studios for dance, aerobics and group fitness; team locker rooms and training facilities; a student lounge; and an Einstein Bros. Bagels shop round out the building. Queens' kinesiology program will also be housed in the Levine Center, enjoying new classrooms, faculty offices and a kinesiology laboratory.

Rogers Hall

Standing proudly at the northeast corner of campus, Rogers Hall opened in January 2013 and bustles as the nerve center for Queens' growing programs in the natural sciences, math and health. Along with classrooms, labs and faculty offices, the building is also home to the Blair College of Health and Presbyterian School of Nursing. Everything about this Platinum LEED-certified building was designed to be a "teacher of lessons."  Here are just a few of the building's many surprises:

Living Green Wall

If Rogers Hall has one signature feature, the Crowder Green Wall is it. In a nod to the science of molecular biology, this living wall features a DNA double helix pattern made of evergreen. More than a dozen species of non-invasive flora make up the design, which changes colors and textures during each of North Carolina's four seasons. The green wall is one of the first things seen by visitors to Queens' campus.

Rooftop Greenhouse

Controlled by computers to maintain consistent temperature, humidity and light levels, this rooftop greenhouse serves as a living botany lab. Two smaller growth chambers simulate arid and humid environments, greatly expanding the type of research students can conduct. A special Plexiglas beehive lets students observe and monitor the work of the greenhouse hive.

Photovoltaic Solar Panels

200 photovoltaic solar panels were installed on the roof of a nearby building to supplement the power consumption of Rogers Hall. Each panel measures approximately four by eight feet, and together they provide about 20% of the building's power. 

Recycled Materials

From the floors to the carpets to the furniture, much of Rogers Hall was constructed from recycled materials. One example? Distinctive hardwood flooring found in the second floor student lounge and other spaces was milled from the handful of hardwood trees that were removed from the building site.

Rainwater Harvesting

Two underground storm water cisterns (with a total capacity of 1.7 million gallons) were constructed to collect all the rain water that falls across our main campus. The water is then harvested and fed into a high-tech irrigation system, drastically reducing our reliance on city water supplies and the local aquifer. In addition, the cisterns provide water for both the Crowder Green Wall and the Rogers Hall air conditioning system. 

"Rogers Hall is a wonderful addition to our campus, and we are thrilled to see our students and faculty thriving in this outstanding new facility," said Queens President Pamela Davies. "We are always looking for ways to enhance the learning experience of our students and Rogers Hall will impact our work in so many ways."

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