NC State’s campus is evolving to foster innovative, interdisciplinary work

03.19.2014 | Filed Under: Campus

Transportation engineers use the teaching and visualization lab at the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.

Transformation has always been a cornerstone of NC State University’s mission. Our creative, entrepreneurial faculty engages, educates and inspires students—while leading state-of-the-art innovation and outreach. Every day since our founding in 1887, NC State has elevated individual lives, as well as the economy and society.

Continual physical transformation of the university’s campus goes hand in hand with that work. With the support of many donors and visionaries, NC State’s transformation is accelerating to meet our evolving needs and goals.

James B. Hunt Jr. Library offers one exciting example. This facility, which opened in 2013, was recognized as “the library of the future” on TIME magazine’s Tech Web site. Cutting-edge technology in spaces such as the Teaching and Visualization Lab—with its 270-degree, three-wall immersive projection system—builds on a strong foundation of world-class research collections that include more than 1.5 million books, largely accessed via robotic delivery system.

The vibrant setting provides the flexible spaces critical for making discovery more collaborative (and fun). Group study areas feature whiteboard walls, Web-based video conferencing and more. Students and faculty can gather in the Game Lab, use a 3D printer, try out devices from the Apple Technology Showcase, and enjoy a variety of food, drink and even chairs.

Learning and recreation intersect, too, at the new Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse, centerpiece of the on-campus Lonnie Poole Golf Course. Along with a home for varsity athletes and top-notch golf and dining amenities, this mixed-use facility provides classroom spaces for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ turfgrass studies and the College of Natural Resources’ Professional Golf Management programs.
Students benefit from hands-on education at the clubhouse and course, too. Some might evaluate new and existing cultivars, production practices and pest management methods, to benefit the state’s 2-million-acre turfgrass industry. Others will learn about event and hospitality management, golf club repair or new technology for evaluating golf swings.

But the bold transformations don’t stop there. Under the guidance of Chancellor Randy Woodson and the university’s strategic plan, more are on the horizon.

In the coming years, a new science corridor will create a multidisciplinary community where research, education and innovation thrive. A new signature science building will replace Harrelson Hall. Important upgrades to nearby facilities such as Broughton, Cox, Dabney and Mann halls will enrich our students’ learning experiences. Designed to integrate natural and built environments seamlessly, this project will create improved teaching, advising, tutoring, career services and social spaces.

The science corridor will more readily draw together leaders from business, government and industry—as well as undergraduates, graduate students and faculty—for interdisciplinary problem-solving addressing complex modern challenges, from energy sources to antibiotic-resistant bacteria strains.

Transformation of older campus landmarks will enhance university life, too.

Talley Student Union‘s 21st-century makeover is in progress and scheduled for completion in 2015. The project is tripling the center’s size, with a two-story NC State bookstore and a new ballroom for university and student events such as the Annual Spring Diversity Dialogue. Talley will offer a range of updated meeting, dining and lounge venues, and offices for student government and organizations. As with other current facilities projects, sustainable features—including a green roof that captures rainwater—reduce the university’s carbon footprint.

William Neal Reynolds Coliseum and the Memorial Belltower are other icons poised for much-needed renovations that would leave their character intact, plus added features. With the help of a student-led fundraising initiative, we will one day hear a full complement of bells ringing the alma mater and visit an Athletics Walk of Fame at Reynolds that celebrates Wolfpack sports history.

Transformation. It remains critical to NC State’s land-grant purpose. And an evolving campus remains necessarily tied to the university’s world-changing leadership.

Tally Student Union
James B. Hunt Jr. Library
William Neal Reynolds Coliseum
Carol Johnson Poole Clubhouse


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