Frequently Asked Questions

What is the area referred to as Central Campus?

Duke University owns about 1,400 acres on West, East, Central campuses and the medical center. Central Campus consists of about 200 acres bounded on the north by Highway NC 147; on the west by the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, on the south by Duke University Road and on the east by Oregon Street. Currently this land includes the Central Campus apartments, which house about 540 students, primarily junior and senior undergraduate students. Additionally, about 1,400 parking spaces are located in the northwest portion of the site. There are several out-parcels, including some university buildings, private residences and a public recreation field.

Where will the "New Campus" be located and how big is it?

Duke's "New Campus," the neighborhood district located along Campus Drive from the traffic circle to Alexander Avenue, is envisioned as both an extension of West Campus and as a community where academic endeavors, collaborative learning and interdisciplinary research flourish. It is envisioned to provide physical coherence the arts and other academic programs to better connect students' academic and social lives. Residential, academic, public and support space will be constructed in phases over a period of years or decades.

When will "New Campus" construction begin?

Planning for "New Campus" is ongoing; however, as a result of the economic downturn in late 2008 and subsequent global recession, construction remains on hold indefinitely.

What will happen to the programs located in the Campus Drive houses?

Programs now housed along Campus Drive will be relocated permanently or temporarily during the construction process. University officials have indicated that Duke would provide assistance to people willing to preserve and relocate the Campus Drive houses and return them to owner-occupied residences.

How will construction impact traffic along Campus Drive and Chapel Drive?

While specific impacts have not yet been determined, Duke will make improvements to Campus Drive and Anderson Street to make them more pedestrian and bicycle friendly as part of the project.

What is happening to all the trees between East and West campuses?

Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects noted the importance of the trees between East and West as contributing to the character of a "university in the forest." The building and landscape designs will work with the existing trees and topography to support the University's sustainability goals and to retain this character that is unique to Duke.

What will the "New Campus" look like?

The vision for this neighborhood is to create a campus of enduring quality intended to complement East and West campuses. The master design included some details of building size, shape, massing, relationship to open space, environmental sustainability and natural lighting. However, the appearance of specific buildings has not been decided. What has been decided is that the design will not be exclusively neo-Georgian brick found on East Campus or neo-Gothic stone found on West Campus. The intention is that the character will be respectful of Duke's traditions and convey a Duke-like style. When specific projects are commissioned, the exterior appearance of buildings on this campus will become more clearly defined.

How will the "New Campus" demonstrate Duke's commitment to environmental sustainability?

The "New Campus" will reflect environmental sensitivity by preserving green space, optimizing open space, encouraging pedestrian and bicycle traffic, and respecting natural topographical features, which will help define the character of the campus.

These goals reflect Duke's commitment and continued leadership in environmental stewardship and sustainability. Duke has committed to only build on previously disturbed land with careful attention to protect and expand the natural areas. Since 2003, Duke has required that all campus construction meet or exceed the certification criteria for The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED ) Green Building Rating System for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. A minimum LEED Silver certification is the target for all construction, and some buildings may be held to even more stringent standards.

Sustainability on the "New Campus" will be considered holistically, and those who visit, work or live on the campus will be encouraged to engage thoughtfully and respectfully with the environment.

How can members of the Duke community contribute to the planning process?

Dean and Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education Steve Nowicki has been charged with collecting input from the undergraduate student community. Students are invited to participate by directly contacting the Office of Undergraduate Education, joining a focus group or contacting their DSG representatives.

Provost Peter Lange and Executive Vice Provost Jim Roberts are working with department chairs and others regarding planning for academic space on the "New Campus." The Academic Council appointed an Ad Hoc Committee on Design, chaired by Deborah DeMott, David F Cavers Professor of Law, to serve in an advisory role.

Phail Wynn Jr., vice president for Durham and regional affairs, is the liaison to the community and the City of Durham for "New Campus" Planning and other initiatives. Community meetings open to the public will be held as new developments in the planning process occur. Individuals are invited to contact us with suggestions, questions or concerns.