UNC proposes constructing new $5.3M building to house ‘Silent Sam’ Confederate statue

Orange County News


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.

READ MOREProtesters march at UNC in opposition of chancellor’s plan for ‘Silent Sam’

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 in “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.


CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (WNCN) — A big decision is expected Monday on a controversial Confederate monument at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“Silent Sam” sat on UNC’s campus for more than a century before protesters tore it down in August.

After months of public input, the fate of Silent Sam is in the hands of UNC Chancellor Carol Folt, who has been working on a detailed plan for disposition and preservation.

Due to the amount of interest in the controversial monument, Folt has already been granted one extension as she considers what’s best for the statue and the campus. She was supposed to make a recommendation to the Board of Governors and Board of Trustees back in November.

Since the monument was torn down on Aug. 20, students say they’ve gotten used to the fence where Silent Sam once stood.

Faced with what could be a no-win situation, some said they feel administrators may be dragging their feet.

Regardless of what options are announced, the UNC Board of Governors is expected to make their final decision on the future of Silent Sam during their Dec. 14 meeting.

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