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THE BLUE BANNER
Volume 33 Issue 12
The University Of North Carolina At Asheville
April 26, 2001
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End of an Era for Governor’s Village
PHOTO CONTRIBUTED BY THE AS! lEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES
Clockwise from top: Architects presented a model of
Governor’s Dormitory Village in 1966.
TJ, a sophomore multimedia arts and sciences major,
waves to a friend in the Village April 25, 2001.
A student works in her newly-built room Fall 1967.
Gary McCracken, a senior multimedia arts and sciences
major, plays on the computer in his Hoey Hall room.
WALTER FYLER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
PHOTO' CONTRIBUTED BY THE ASHEVILLE CITIZEN-TIMES
University s First Dormitories to Be Replaced Beginning This Summer
Editor In Chief
Students suffered through a cold,
winter night, and gathered 10,000
signatures on a petition in an at
tempt to make others realize that
UNCA needed dormitories on
Previously, campus housing did
not exist. Students had the fore
sight to realize what UNCA
needed, and on Aug. 20, 1967,
they finally got it.
On that day, the first dormitories
on campus opened, and students
Governor’s Dormitory Village
housed 250 students, 125 of each
gender, and it was seen as a new
beginning for the college.
Now, after students leave for the
summer, construction crews will
destroy three of the Village dorms:
Swain, Craig and Aycock halls.
The remaining dorms will be torn
down within the next decade. The
buildings are practically impos
sible to renovate because they are
poured-in-place concrete build
ings, according to Steve Baxley,
director of facilities management
This leaves the university with
the unenviable decision of having
to remove the buildings and re
place them with modern, single
and double occupancy, air-condi-
“It is cheaper to replace it than it
is to renovate it,” said Baxley.
Yet, nostalgia tightens the throat
of some UNCA alumni, staff and
“1 always have some misgivings
about tearing down something
that’s been around 30 years,” said
Baxley. However, “I lose my sym
pathy with those buildings pretty
quick” when maintenance prob
lems occur repeatedly.
Wayne McDevitt, vice chancel
lor of financial affairs and UNCA
alumni, remembers working on
the plumbing in the Village prior
to its opening. His son, Nicholas,
was a Swain Hall resident for two
“I got a worker’s permit, and
actually worked with a shovel in
hand as they were doing the final
stages” of construction, said
McDevitt. “I hadn’t been there
since ’73, so as we were moving
Nicholas in, it was somewhat nos
Students realized that the liberal-
arts program would not be as ef
fective in a place with no resident
students, according to William E.
High smith, chancellor of
Asheville-Biltmore College, which
is now UNCA, in his book, “The
University of North Carolina at
Asheville: The First 60 Years.
One night in 1964, several stu
dents erected tents on the quad by
the flagpole in a demonstration to
make people realize that the cam
pus needed dorms for its students.
Then, many students traveled
throughout Western North Caro
lina asking individuals to sign a
petition calling for the N.C. Gen
eral Assembly to approve the con
struction of the dorms.
They succeeded when the 1965
general assembly authorized
$750,000 to fund the project.
Besides providing diversity and a
collegiate atmosphere, the build
ings were “the final stroke in eras
ing the struggling, local junior col
lege label once worn by the col
lege,” stated a Feb. 19, 1967 A-B
College press release.
With dorms, out-of-state stu-
See VILLAGE on Back Page
WALTER FYLER/STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER
Serving UNCA Since 1982
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