Bryan Center Restoration

We're Open!

The Bryan Center basement is now open. There are a few details still being finalized and the Greenhouse entrance will be closed until January, however, the majority of the basement is back and better than ever!


On the morning of June 8, 2019, the Bryan Center Greenhouse, which includes Media Services, Theater Operations, Technical Services, Student Media, and Religious Life group spaces, was flooded after heavy rains.

The Bryan Center basement has received the first of many new furniture installations. Desks and chairs and storage, oh my! The design comes together as each area reflects the look and feel of other levels. The space is welcome and warm. Most importantly, the space is nearly ready to reopen. 

New furniture in the Bryan Center basement including a desk with meeting chairs and a side table.
The first of many new furniture installations in the Bryan Center Basement.


Four photos showing the restoration updates of the Bryan Center basement. Details are being finalized and the photos show that the space is nearly complete.

The devil is in the details! The Bryan Center basement looks great and crews are now focusing on the fine details that will make the space ready for re-opening. Furniture deliveries are scheduled for this week and new installations are set to begin soon. As this phase comes to a close, the second phase of construction begins as the Greenhouse glass is restored. We'll continue to update this page with news and hope that you'll be able to see the space for yourself in the near future. 

Welcome Back! As students return to campus we're excited that we'll soon be able to reactivate the Bryan Center Basement and offer a space that is better than before. This week we'd like to showcase a few progress photos taken throughout the summer that provides some insights to just how far the construction team has come. Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to a grand reopening!

Flood update showing painted walls and new flooring
Photo taken on Monday, August 26th.
Updated drywall within the basement
Photo taken earlier in the summer.

As we prepare to welcome new students to campus this week, construction crews continue to restore the Bryan Center basement. Flooring is in the beginning stages of installation and new doors are in place throughout the space. Stay tuned for more detailed progress updates as they become available and more exciting developments unfold. Until then, welcome back to Duke!

Progress continues in the basement with painting nearing completion and flooring on the way. The studio spaces feel more complete as floating floors are installed and cables are routed to equipment. The basement feels significantly different compared to the end of last semester and all tenants are eager to move into the refreshed space. 

Continue to check this site each Monday for additional updates as the restoration efforts continue. 

Painted blue walls
Painting is nearly complete throughout the basement and each space includes vibrant pops of color.
New floating floors being installed in a studio space.
New floating floors are installed in the studio spaces allowing cabling to be routed to equipment.

Last week's update promised a colorful future for the basement, this week the space is filled with signs of wet paint. As drywall begins to disappear behind the vibrant color palette the Greenhouse basement's new look takes shape. 

Painter painting the BC Basement wall
A painter adds color to the Bryan Center Greenhouse basement.
Denim blue and a bright green on the walls of the BC Basement
A sample of the colors used in the basement.
Updated drywall within the basement
Updated drywall work throughout the basement, ready for paint.


Four color swatches appear next to a paint brush and paint can on a white background
Visitors will see added pops of color in the restored Bryan Center basement.

Drywall has been completed in the Bryan Center basement, and painting of the spaces is up next. As construction progresses, a unified and welcoming design is beginning to take shape, and it is bright and cheerful! Gone are the days of mismatched furniture and disjointed design. Future visitors to the space will be pleasantly surprised by the new pops of color and attention to detail being brought to the rejuvenated space. 

A space that previously felt somewhat "off the beaten path" will also now be more integrated with the rest of the Bryan Center. Colors like Jalapeño, Melange Green and Denim will add vibrant accents and reference the familiar Duke branding seen throughout the rest of the building, and make the space more inviting. 

The selection of furniture will also look familiar, as the comfortable, modular seating, functional storage pieces, and office and meeting room furniture echo those throughout the rest of the Bryan Center. Each of the items was thoughtfully chosen to enhance the usability of the spaces for students and staff.  

A graphic with four images of brightly colored furniture in office spaces on a plywood background
Furniture has been carefully selected to best serve the students and staff who will be using the spaces.

Construction crews were very active last week as drywall installation began. Now that walls are in place paint samples are popping up throughout the space offering a glimpse of the colorful future of the basement. There are still many steps to complete before the basement is reopened but crews are optimistic about the work ahead. 

Bryan Center basement hallway with new drywall installed
New drywall has been installed throughout the basement.
Construction crew works on the Bryan Center basement
Construction crews are hard at work to restore the Bryan Center basement.

Remember that the basement is an active construction zone and access is restricted to authorized personnel only. 

Building permits for the Bryan Center have been approved by the City of Durham, and work is now underway in the space as the early stages of restoration begin. You may see construction crews, equipment and building materials gathered outside the Bryan Center as work progresses. After the permits were approved, electricians were first in the space, testing connections and restoring conduits in the Bryan Center Greenhouse. A member of the construction team says they have been preparing the space for drywall installation next, and that we can expect to see walls in place soon! 

A construction worker prepares a wall for restoration work.
A construction worker prepares a basement wall for restoration.

Staff and services in the affected spaces are active in alternative locations. If you have questions about a specific service offering, please use the contact information below and reach out to the designated staff members. We'd be happy to answer your questions. 

Please remember that this space is now an active construction site, and access is restricted to approved university staff and construction personnel. For your safety and the safety of others, please do not attempt to access the Bryan Center Greenhouse basement for any reason.

Duke has submitted an expedited application for permits through the City of Durham. Construction will begin once permits are issued. The basement level of the Bryan Center remains closed in preparation for construction and access is restricted to authorized personnel only. 

Duke staff members are continuing to make plans to ensure all impacted organizations are able to continue operation during the construction phase. 

As of last week, immediate flood clean-up and mitigation in the Bryan Center has been completed. After the affected spaces were thoroughly dried out, waterlogged and damaged materials such as drywall and carpeting were removed and disposed of, before careful inventory work could begin.  

Our staff has now completed a thorough inventory of the Bryan Center basement, documenting over 4,000 unique items, from electronic equipment to theater costumes. To complete this massive task, staff members tagged, tested and documented an average of 376 objects per day. The efforts unearthed some interesting treasures, including a portable computer from 1982, cases of floppy disks and a traffic cone, among other oddities. All equipment is now being inspected and assessed by insurance adjusters. 

Infographic: 1,230 Inventory Tags Used, 376 Items Documented Per Day, 4,825 Photos Taken to Document Items, 4,329 Unique Items Documented

This week marks the beginning of restoration efforts in the Bryan Center. Facilities Management at Duke (FMD) has identified a contractor and Duke has submitted an expedited application for permits through the City of Durham. The basement level is now considered a construction zone, which means that access is restricted to authorized personnel only. For your safety, please do not try to access the Bryan Center basement at this time.  

We look forward to sharing more construction updates as soon as we can.  

Photo showing staff testing each item during the inventory process
Staff inspect and test each item during the inventory process.
Photo showing staff finding floppy disks during the inventory process.
Floppy disks and other interesting artifacts were found during the inventory efforts.

We are close to completing recovery efforts including clean up and inventory. Thousands of photos have been taken for insurance documentation and thousands of items were inventoried by dozens of helpful staff. Team members are working with insurance adjusters to test equipment as the impact of the flood is still being assessed. 

The basement is dry and now resembles a construction zone after weeks of cleaning by many diligent hands. Our displaced staff are now settled in their temporary spaces. We are now able to shift away from a recovery mindset and progress towards restoration. Though the process will still be lengthy, plans are being made to rejuvenate our spaces and services. 

The week ahead is focused on completing various tasks related to the initial response and shifting towards restoration.

Photo showing the restoration efforts ongoing in the Bryan Center Basement.
As clean-up efforts wrap, restoration efforts begin.

See more photos via Box

Initial clean-up efforts are largely complete and the majority of the basement has been dried out. The past week included many restoration planning meetings and the start of an intensive inventory and assessment conducted by Duke staff working directly with agencies that aid in the recovery process. Affected spaces and items are being thoroughly documented and relocated by the appropriate professionals.

We are actively working with partners across campus to find temporary spaces to minimize the impact on any group or operation. 15 staff members have been temporarily relocated to spaces throughout the Bryan Center. As we progress towards a space that is better than ever you may read about the current status by visiting this page.

The flood hasn't completely slowed us down, however! Many services are still available even during restoration efforts. If services are unavailable there are staff available to assist in making alternate plans until we are able to meet your needs. Please communicate directly with service providers using the Contact section of this website for more information. 

As we look to the week ahead we will begin the shift away from recovery and towards restoration. Your patience is greatly appreciated as we ensure the safety of the space during these efforts. Please note that the affected spaces are not accessible for walk-throughs and only authorized personnel may access these spaces. 

Photo showing the damage caused by the Bryan Center basement flooding.
Student Media space located closest to the Greenhouse was significantly damaged.

See more photos via Box.

Updated June 10, 2019: 

Thanks to all who have offered support and space to employees affected by the flooding. Fortunately, no one was in the affected area and there are no injuries. For now, we have relocated impacted employees to Shaefer Theater while further damage and safety assessments are made. We met with FMD this morning to review the current situation. Damage is significant and repairs will take some time. Access to the flooded area is restricted and requires a special pass.

News and Communications will meet with local TV stations in the Bryan Center around noon today.


June 8, 2019: 

As many of you may know, significant flooding occurred in the basement level of the Bryan Center and was discovered early Saturday morning (see Duke Today at 

The Bryan Center was temporarily closed today while FMD and others conducted initial assessments.  However, the current plan is that the building will re-open tomorrow. The flooded area houses UCAE media, technical, and marketing functions and there is significant damage that will take some time to repair.  

On Monday, UCAE employees whose work areas are located in the flooded area should report to the main UCAE suite for access to computers or to Shaefer Theater for desk space. We are closely monitoring conditions in consultation with FMD and OESO and ask that no one try to access the lower level until approved to do so. Information concerning retrieval of personal items as well as preliminary plans regarding clean-up, repairs, and work schedules will be provided on Monday.  

Student Affairs employees located in other areas of the building should report to their usual work areas on Monday.

Images of the Bryan Center flooding from June 8, 2019.
Images of the flooding in the Greenhouse of the Bryan Center from Duke Today.

See more photos via Box.


A graphic of the lower-level of the Bryan Center, denoting flood levels after June 2019 flooding.
This graphic shows the reach of the water damage in the lower level of the Bryan Center after flooding on June 8, 2019. The water entered in the Greenhouse, denoted by the red box in the bottom right of the graphic.


Photo showing the temporary wall constructed in the Bryan Center Greenhouse post-flooding.
A temporary wall constructed after the Bryan Center Greenhouse was damaged by flooding on June 8th.

Duke University Facilities Management Department has hired a construction company to begin a scope of work analysis and complete the necessary permitting required to begin the space renovations. 

The Bryan Center Greenhouse section is currently closed to the public for restoration.


Photo showing multiple large fans used to dry out the Media Services studio.
Multiple large fans were used to dry out the basement, however, restoration efforts will take some time and may cause service delays.

We expect some disruption in service delivery due to damages, however, we are making all reasonable efforts to support university mission-critical events and programs.

For current information about specific services please use the Contact section of this page.


Photo showing staff meeting to work on inventory and assessment of the flood impact.
Staff respond to the flooding by creating inventory and assessment teams.

Dozens of team members joined together with disaster response teams, and insurance professionals to conduct initial testing, clean-up, and documentation of all equipment and furniture.

15 staff are currently displaced and have temporary workspaces during the restoration. 

Contact information 

For questions related to student groups, contact David Pittman

For questions regarding Creative & Media Services, contact Kyle Fox

For questions regarding Theater Operations and Technical Services, contact Marcy Edenfield

For general questions, contact Chris Roby.