Cheek Clark Building Naming

“Of all the projects that I have worked on over the years, this one gives me a tremendous amount of pride because this is for Facilities. Thank you to the Clark, Cheek, and Hubbard families—you have been legendary. And now you can come to this building at any time, and you can see your family and see your history, which is a very special thing.”

— Anna Wu, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill re-named the original University Laundry building after Kennon Cheek and Rebecca Clark, two leaders among university employees who worked for better conditions for their fellow housekeepers in the 1930s and 1940s. These two, along with many others, were trailblazers not only on campus but in the Chapel Hill community.


The building was re-named the Cheek Clark Building in 1998, which now serves as the headquarters for more than 400 housekeeping, maintenance, and housing support staff. The dedication of the building in January 2019 included the unveiling of the exhibits that shed light on three African American staff members: Cheek and Clark, as well as groundskeeper William “Bus” Hubbard. The stories highlight their contributions to the university and the local community, which include standing up for adequate pay, improvements to working conditions, and paid vacation.


The exhibit includes panels introducing Cheek, Clark, and Hubbard; a timeline of the university’s housekeeping and facilities operations; and large-scale photographs celebrating the diversity within the current staff members.


Design Dimension, Inc. was able to collaborate with university architects, the facilities team, historians, and the families representing Cheek and Clark. Together, we developed the exhibit text and framework, presented a full-scale mockup for the families to review, and finally fabricated and installed the permanent exhibit on site. Design Dimension is honored to have a part in sharing these stories and humbled to have the opportunity to work directly with the family and stakeholders.


“Of all the projects that I have worked on over the years, this one gives me a tremendous amount of pride because this is for Facilities. Thank you to the Clark, Cheek, and Hubbard families—you have been legendary. And now you can come to this building at any time, and you can see your family and see your history, which is a very special thing.”

Anna Wu, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities Services



Press


"Cheek Clark Building exhibit honors integral African American staff" The Daily Tar Heel


"Exhibit in renovated Cheek Clark Building honors Carolina staff" UNC.edu


"Exhibit Honoring Staff Opens at Renovated Kennon Cheek and Rebecca Clark Building" Facilities.UNC.edu