CHAPEL HILL — Construction on an addition to Kenan Stadium at UNC may begin soon.
A committee of the university's board of trustees signed off Wednesday afternoon on a plan to pay for the $70 million project, and the full board will likely do so as well Thursday.
Once that happens, athletics officials are free to start the five-story addition that will close in the east end zone of the football stadium.
Construction would begin in June and officials expect the project to be complete by fall 2011.
The bottom two floors will be an academic support center for athletes. The top three floors will be premium seating, including 20 luxury suites.
Half of the project will be paid for through private fundraising. The university hopes to raise $35 million by 2015. This year, the fundraising project's first, the university surpassed its $10 million target by bringing in $10.3 million, athletics director Dick Baddour said Wednesday.
A new academic center for all Carolina athletes has proven popular among donors, Baddour said.
"I really think there's a lot of affection for the academic support center," he said. "That really resonates with people."
Fifteen of 20 suites have sold - at $50,000 each - while lower-priced luxury seating, which will also offer access to restrooms and other amenities, is selling at a slower pace.
Beer and wine will be available to occupants of those seats, a first for an athletic venue at UNC. Alcohol is not and will not be sold at regular concession stands.
For more on the stadium expansion, read Thursday's News & Observer.
— Eric Ferreri