Wake Forest hires SmithGroup for campus space utilization study

Wake Forest University has hired the SmithGroup to complete a campus space utilization study beginning in October and continuing through April 2022. The study will bring into focus the diverse and evolving space and facilities needs of the campus today and for the future. When completed, the study will take into account lessons learned during COVID-19, forecasted future trends for academic work and the administrative functions needed to support it. Wake Forest hopes to identify opportunities to leverage and optimize use of the University’s real estate portfolio in service to the University’s academic mission.

“Careful and thoughtful campus space planning work is critical to positioning Wake Forest for the future,” said President Susan R. Wente. “The SmithGroup is known for its in-depth approach to analyzing space utilization and truly understanding campus needs in order to identify planning priorities and projects with the greatest potential for impact. I am confident they will lead this important process effectively for us.”

Guided by a steering committee of campus academic and administrative leaders, the study will prioritize the infrastructure in which the academic and residential experience takes place. As a member of the steering committee, Dean Michele Gillespie will provide leadership and engagement with the SmithGroup to ensure faculty voices and departmental needs of the College are communicated during the process. The committee will work with the SmithGroup to identify current and future solutions for ensuring that Wake Forest is equipped to offer exceptional academic experiences across all areas of study.

The SmithGroup will deliver a detailed space utilization strategy to assist the University in responding to its unique capacity and utilization challenges and opportunities on the Reynolda campus as well as off-campus University properties. The utilization study will identify investment, innovation and opportunity areas to ensure support for the University’s educational mission and continued investment in excellent academic, residential, research and athletic facilities that support a vibrant collegiate experience. Additional goals for this project include:

  • Addressing the need for additional instructional space, academic offices and support service space on Reynolda campus;
  • developing strategies to expand existing dining venue seating and assessing the need for a new dining facility;
  • identifying potential academic and/or administrative uses for University-owned commercial properties;
  • assessing recently acquired real estate for its potential academic, administrative, student activities and recreational uses;
  • and assessing spaces currently under University lease for future use.

“The buildings and spaces where we teach, learn, work and live on this campus are a huge part of what makes Wake Forest so special,” Wente said. “We will continue to invest in all of our physical spaces – academic, residential, athletics and administrative – to ensure we are able to offer environments that inspire creativity, deep learning, thriving, success and community connection.”

More information and ongoing updates about the space utilization study will soon be available on the WFU facilities website.

More Barn Concerts presents Aaron Burdett on Oct. 21

This is a guest post from the More Barn Concert Series.

More Barn Concerts proudly presents Aaron Burdett on Thursday, Oct. 21, at 7:30 p.m. at The Barn at Reynolda Village.

Photo of musician Aaron Burdett with his guitar standing an a cozy music hallBurdett is recognized as one of the top 10 most important musicians of western North Carolina by WNC Magazine, alongside such greats as Doc Watson, Steep Canyon Rangers and The Avett Brothers. His last four albums have been voted top 20 Albums of the Year by WNCW radio listeners.

Burdett has received critical acclaim as a songwriter, winning the prestigious Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at MerleFest in 2020 in the bluegrass category with “Rockefeller.” Burdett took home the grand prize in the folk category of the USA Songwriting Contest with “A Couple Broken Windows” in 2018. Burdett also won Our State Magazine’s Carolina Songs competition in 2012 with “Going Home to Carolina.” Aaron’s song “Magpie” won third place bluegrass song in the Chris Austin Songwriting Contest at Merlefest in 2013. Read More »

Categories: EventsGuest Post

Add your contribution to our Wake United Campaign!

This message is shared on behalf of the 2021 Wake United Campaign Cabinet. 

Dear Wake Forest Colleagues,

Our 2021 Wake United campaign is underway. Thank you to those who have already made a contribution this year! To date, we have raised over $70,000. Your donation supports our local United Way in working to create a stable, educated, healthy, and economically mobile Forsyth County.

It will take all of us to reach our goal of $270,000 by the end of this month. Our campaign only runs through October 31, so please don’t wait to respond. No matter how large or small, each contribution matters in furthering our collective effort.

Giving is easy:  Read More »

Faculty and staff books: September and October 2021

Congratulations to Wake Forest University faculty and staff from the Reynolda Campus who reported publishing books in September and October 2021:

Comings and goings: September 2021

See a list of employees who joined or left the University in September 2021.

We look forward to working with new Wake Forest employees and appreciate the service of those who have moved on.

Read More »


Chaplain's Emergency Fund
As you consider opportunities to give, the Chaplain’s Emergency Fund supports Wake Forest community members experiencing financial hardship.


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