Kathryn Horne is the director of planning, design and construction in facilities management, and no two days are the same. Learn about the University’s process for new construction and renovation, the most rewarding part of her job, and her “must visit” places on campus.
How long have you been at UNC Charlotte?
I joined UNC Charlotte in 2015. Although I have not been at UNC Charlotte for a long time, I am a long-time resident of North Carolina and Charlotte and have seen the University grow and become the outstanding institution it is today.
Can you describe your role at UNC Charlotte?
I lead a team of architects, engineers, interior designers and planners who oversee and manage planning, design and construction projects on campus. This includes new buildings like the Science Building and renovation projects like Crown Commons Dining and the Industrial Solutions Lab in Cameron. We work with students, faculty and staff across campus to build and renovate facilities and plan for the future of the University. We have more than 200 projects worth approximately $250 million in design and construction.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
It is wonderful to see people using the spaces that are created through the design and construction process. Understanding the initial needs and working with architects and engineers to translate needs into reality is exciting.
Knowing that the work we do makes UNC Charlotte a better place to learn, teach, study, work and connect with others by developing the places and spaces on campus to support the goals and mission of the University is rewarding and gives me purpose.
What is something about planning, design and construction that people may not know?
Unless you are an engineer, planner, architect or interior designer, I don’t think people know how much coordination and communication is needed to make a project successful. People are surprised by how long it takes to plan, design and build from initial feasibility study to when the project is built. It can take several years.
What do you like to do when you aren't working?
I enjoy spending time with family and friends, especially when a meal is part of the experience. I like to read, and when I am not reading, I like to spend time outdoors. I enjoy hiking in the mountains. When I travel, I love to visit other campuses and see new buildings.
Where are the best places to go on campus?
There are so many great places on campus, it's hard to choose! We have a beautiful campus, and I enjoy walking across campus and seeing the variety of spaces, buildings and landscape. I like seeing the activity and students in the outdoor areas around Prospector. Atkins Library is one of my favorites — seeing people working together and studying says University campus to me. Seeing the buildings and spaces that have been built and renovated is always exciting, such as the Science Building, Thoughtful Cup in Fretwell, labs, active learning classrooms and so much more! The Botanical Gardens are also a wonderful place on campus to get outdoors and take a break.