Preservation plan to guide UGA on structures’ fates

The University of Georgia is creating a preservation master plan for all of its structures across the state. The plan will establish a set of guidelines and decision-making matrix to help in evaluating the importance of university buildings and whether they warrant preservation, restoration or rehabilitation.

The planning process is being coordinated by the Office of University Architects with the assistance of the College of Environment and Design’s Center for Community Design and Preservation and Master of Historic Preservation Program. A steering group appointed by UGA President Jere W. Morehead is providing oversight.

“This plan is the next logical step in a continuum of successful preservation projects which have occurred over the last couple of decades,” said Daniel Nadenicek, dean of the College of Environment and Design and chair of the preservation plan steering group. “This is the right time to move forward. The technologies now at our disposal will be essential in ensuring the quality of our work.”

The first year of the plan calls for the inventory of most university-owned properties, structures and landscapes, including those in Athens, Tifton and Griffin, as well as all agricultural buildings.

“The number of potential historic resources around the state represents a formidable task,” said Scott Messer, UGA’s historic preservation planner and interim director of design for the architects office. “We are taking an individualized look at most resources owned or managed by the university. With a complete inventory in hand, we can develop policies and procedures for the stewardship of all of them. This process will guide and inform our facilities management and planning for years to come.”

Graduate assistants from the College of Environment and Design are conducting the survey of university-owned structures and landscapes with help from the FindIt Program, a CED public service and outreach program, and FindIt interns, who are assisting with documentation and data entry. The survey began in June and is almost halfway complete.

Master of Historic Preservation students are conducting historical research, organizing existing facilities data and noting any other resources such as historic landscapes and plant materials that may require additional investigation. Once the initial data is analyzed, the graduate assistants will assess areas in need of additional research and documentation.

After the survey, CED students, the University Architects Office, historic preservation faculty and the steering group will meet with Wiss, Janney, Elster Associates Inc., a Duluth-based firm serving as external consultant. The entire group will hold a workshop in spring 2015, where the graduate assistants will present their findings and all participants will work on establishing the guiding principles for the preservation master plan. The consultant will then manage the remainder of the process in consultation with the steering group and university architects.

Members of the steering group are:

  • Daniel Nadenicek, chair, dean of the College of Environment and Design
  • Pat Allen, director of community relations, Office of Government Relations
  • Gwynne Darden, assistant vice president for Facilities Planning, University Architects
  • Sheila Davis, administrative specialist, Office of the President
  • Bill McDonald, dean of students, Division of Student Affairs
  • Henry Munneke, professor of real estate, Terry College of Business