A New $5.3 Million Home for Silent Sam at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

This past August, the Silent Sam statue honoring soldiers who fought for the Confederacy on the campus of the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill was torn down by protestors during a rally. Recently, administrators have proposed a new $5.3 million building on campus to safely house the monument.

According to Chancellor Carol Folt, university officials decided that the controversial statue should not return to its previous spot on campus due to public safety concerns. Additionally, North Carolina state law prohibits the statue from being moved to a museum, mausoleum or cemetery because it is a public monument.

The university came to the conclusion that the best course of action was to build a new indoor facility to house the monument. In addition to the $5.3 million in construction costs, the building will need $800,000 annually for operating funds. It will provide historical context for the statue and the university’s history. The construction is expected to conclude in 2022. The new plans have been met with outrage and criticism from some students and others in the university community.

The university plans to “make it a truly strong interactive center that tells our full history of this university, from before settlement to its emergence this day as one of the leading public state research universities in America,” said Chancellor Folt.

The “Recommendation for the Disposition and Preservation of the Confederate Monument” may be accessed here.

Update: On December 14, the board of governors of the University of North Carolina rejected the plan and issued a March 15 deadline for leaders to develop and alternative.

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  1. Another example of white privilege. It would have been better to let it remain face down in the dirt. That would have been a message in itself. Now to spend more than $5million to erect a facility and almost another million to maintain on an annual basis is ridiculous. It says they have more money than they need and don’t know what to do with it. Use the money to provide scholarships to deserving minority students!

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