UNC proposes constructing new $5.3M building to house ‘Silent Sam’ Confederate statue
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Chancellor Carol Folt announced Monday that the school is recommending that they keep the “Silent Sam” Confederate statue on campus and put it in a new building.
Folt said that they received at least 5,000 comments from the public regarding the monument and that the provost read all of them.
Based on those comments, a committee narrowed down the possible sites for the statue to 20, including placing the statue back where it had been for 105 years, Folt said. It was determined that public safety concerns made that impossible.
A four-point plan for the statue’s future was developed:
- Point one: Disposition and preservation of the artifacts
- Point two: Continuation, expansion of the historical contextualization of campus
- Point three: Establishment of a University History and Education Center
- Point four: Creation of McCorkle Place Gateway
UNC said their preference was to move the statue off campus, but they're bound by a state law that requires them to put the statue back in a similar location. Because of that, the school says they plan to spend $5.3 million on a new development called "Odum Village" where the statue will be housed.
The school spent more than $400,000 on security for Silent Sam last year.
The new building is expected to be finished by mid-2022 and will cost more than $800,000 per year to operate, officials said.
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