Campus Buildings Category
The faculty and administration at the College of Textiles were not eager to be pioneers on Centennial Campus. They voted unanimously in 1987 against the college moving from Nelson Hall and David Clark Labs on the main campus to the new campus that was still more imagined than real.
Nonetheless, it was on this day in 1988 that the ground was officially broken for a new home for the College of Textiles on Centennial Campus. The 300,000-foot square foot facility, which was actually to be four interconnected buildings, was expected to cost $30 million to build and equip. Over 175 people turned out for the groundbreaking.
“If this $30 million investment says anything, it says the textiles industry is a number one priority at North Carolina State University,” then-Chancellor Bruce Poulton said at the groundbreaking, according to an account in the Technician. “This building is really symbolic of our constant commitment to have the best College of Textiles in the free world.”
The new College of Textiles complex was dedicated in 1991.
Most NC State alumni will remember Park Shops as the drab, industrial-looking building sandwiched between Page and Daniels halls.
Built in 1914, it once housed mechanical engineering “shop” classes such as woodworking and welding. In later years it became a headquarters for the university’s facilities operations such as keymaking and plumbing. Although its functions had nothing to do with students, it was smack dab in the middle of student activity.
But thanks to a 2009 renovation, Park Shops is now home to light-filled lecture halls, laboratories for classes such as anthropology and forensic analysis, and advising offices. A Port City Java café with arched windows and exposed brick walls provides a place for students to gather. A loading dock where white service vans once parked is now an inviting plaza with trees and benches that faces the new SAS Building, which is home to mathematics and statistics.
During the extensive renovation, architects gutted the building, removed wallboard and sandblasted the existing brick. Narrow gaps between the ceiling edges and the brickwork allow strips of light to wash over the bricks. The renovation also made use of skylights and included acoustical improvements.
Park Shops may not be home to machinery shops anymore, but it keeps its name. It was named for Charles Benjamin Park, a Raleigh native who graduated from the Raleigh Male Academy. A former machinist with the Seaboard Coastline Railroad, he was superintendent at the shops for nearly 50 years, and impressed students with model locomotives he constructed.
–Sylvia Adcock ‘81
Campus Changes is a periodic series on redandwhiteforlife.com looking at changes to NC State’s campus. Some installments will look at major changes, such as the ongoing renovation of Talley Student Center, while others will look at smaller changes in various corners of campus.
The James B. Hunt Jr. Library has been open since January, but it remains a work in progress.
The Hunt Library makes the latest technology available to students and faculty, but the final touches are still being made to some of the most innovative spaces in the new library on Centennial Campus. The Game Lab, with its 20×5-foot MicroTile display screen, is now open four hours each evening for students wanting to try their hand at the latest video games and is expected to be open around-the-clock soon. The Teaching and Visualization Lab and the Creativity Studio are scheduled to open this summer, although the spaces already have been used by a couple of different groups.
The challenge, says Maurice York (right), head of information technology for NCSU Libraries, has been to make sure library patrons can easily make use of all the new high-tech tools.
“We’ve got a lot of advanced technology in the building, but if the right human interface isn’t there to make it easy to engage with, it just becomes a big pile of hardware,” says York. “With any of these spaces, no matter what the level of technology, you should be able to walk in, push some buttons, and get to work. You should not have to have a secret handshake or three months of training, so that this building really is in the hands of the students.”
Making such cutting-edge technology readily available to students is at the heart of what the Hunt Library is about. Students and professors can even check out some items, ranging from iPads to credit-card sized computers that plug into a television.
“It’s a crazy idea,” York says. “But we know they want to get their hands on stuff. They’re not happy with a passive presentation of technology, because it’s not that interesting. They’re not here to learn how to use a computer or how to use a display. They’re here to learn how to engineer the next generation of that stuff. So if they can’t get their hands on it and mess with it, we haven’t really done our job.”
York has been pleased with the initial response to the new library, which is featured in the spring issue of NC State magazine. He says the library is full most nights and weekends and that students have occasionally complained about not being able to find a seat. He says the library’s group study rooms have been extremely popular, and that students have taken advantage of the display screens and other technology available in each of the study rooms.
One of York’s next challenges is to find a way to get some of the technological features of the Hunt Library into D.H. Hill Library. “It’s easy to get to Centennial at night and on weekends, but there’s an enormous center of gravity on North Campus, and we’ve got to be able to bring these services back up there,” he says.
The automated bookBot at the Hunt Library, with its capacity for 2 million books, has freed up space in D.H. Hill that had been devoted to the stacks. One of those spaces is being remade into a visualization room, much like the visualization lab at Hunt Library. Those spaces — York calls them black box theaters — will allow students and professors to rethink how they do presentations and other projects. “It’s a very flexible, dynamic learning environment,” York says.
From there, York looks forward to seeing where their imagination will take them. He takes comfort in knowing that they won’t be limited by inadequate technology.
“It’s just so rewarding,” he says, “to be able to listen to what people want to do and say, ‘Yeah, we can do that,’ and know that you’ve got a space for them.”
Alan Aitken ‘63 usually needs a good reason to leave his home in Juneau, Alaska, every spring and fly halfway around the globe. And that reason is usually the Final Four, the annual culminating weekend of college basketball that crowns a champion.
But it just so happened this year, he had two. Last weekend, he attended the Final Four in Atlanta, his 22nd in a row, and arrived in Raleigh Wednesday night for the Class of ‘63 reunion, going on this weekend at NC State. That put a cherry on top of his 3,900 mile trip across the country, the longest distance that any alumnus traveled to this year’s reunion.
“I’m looking forward to seeing campus again,” Aitken says. “When I was here, there were 13,000 students. Now you have 34,000.”
Aitken originally came to NC State from New York state in 1961, when the college was the first forestry program to respond to him with an opportunity to transfer out of a tw0-year program in New York. He vividly remembers his first trip to the South and the culinary adjustments Raleigh’s diners brought.
“I ordered two eggs over easy with bacon,” he says. “When the waitress brought it out, I said, ‘Why did you give me Cream of Wheat?’ She said, ‘That’s not Cream of Wheat. That’s grits.’”
But, he says, he quickly liked the people in the South, something he appreciates to this day in his travels. “They’re friendly and they’re courteous,” he says. “They say, ‘Thank you’ and ‘Glad to see you.’
Aitken worked more than 30 years for the U.S. Forest Service in Alaska, retiring in 1994. And he still remembers where he was when he got the offer to go West here at NC State. He was a senior living in Turlington Residence Hall when he got a call from his mother. She had a telegram with a job offer in Alaska. And it was an easy choice for him.
“It just sounded like a big adventure,” he says.
It’s been open for three months. But today, the James B. Hunt Jr. Library was formally dedicated.
Keynote speaker Vartan Gregorian, president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, called the library “a Laboratory of human endeavor, a window to the future.” He said the library embodies the spirit of the Morrill Act, the legislation signed 150 years ago that created land-grant universities such as NC State. Gregorian, the former president of Brown University, praised the vision of Gov. Hunt and his support of education. “I salute you. Today is your day,” he said to Hunt, who sat on the front row with his family.
Chancellor Randy Woodson said the library on Centennial Campus is nothing like the libraries of the past. To those who haven’t been through its spaces, he said, “you’re in for a surprise.’’ Woodson added, “Today’s students need to interact across disciplines in creative ways….We created space for that to happen.’’
The library uses an automated bookBot retrieval system that allows storage of over a million volumes while freeing up more space for study areas. The group study rooms are each equipped with large-screen display monitors, and walls made of whiteboard are ready for students to write down equations and notes. A Teaching and Visualization Lab and Creativity Studio offers opportunities for simulation that can enhance teaching. And patrons can use technology such as 3-D printing. At the conclusion of the dedication, Woodson presented Gregorian with a 3-D printed version of the Hunt Library.
Andy Walsh addresses the audience at the dedication of the James B. Hunt Jr. Library.
Andy Walsh, student body president, spoke of the buzz among students about the building— saying it was a constant presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. He noted that more than 1,700 images of the library are online through the #myhuntlibrary campaign to collect photos of the library.
You can read more about the library in the upcoming issue of NC State magazine, a benefit of membership in the Alumni Association.
A campus landmark that students have called home for decades — the Talley Student Center — is undergoing an extreme makeover.
Construction is underway on the new Talley Student Center, a $120-million project that will transform the aging building into what planners are calling “the crossroads of central campus.”
The Talley project is a renovation and an expansion made necessary by NC State’s growth and the building’s deteriorating conditions. Since the center was built in 1972, the student population of NC State has more than doubled to its current level of 34,000, making the facility too small to meet the increasing number of students.
The old building also suffered from numerous infrastructure problems including limited electrical power, plumbing problems, inefficient heating and cooling systems and elevator failures. The existing building also has no sprinklers for fire protection, says Tim Hogan, operations director for University Student Centers.
But that will all change when the new student center opens in 2014.
Students — and visiting alums who drop in — will find an “open and welcoming” student center with abundant glass across the exterior offering a sweeping view of campus, Hogan says.
Those who want a bite to eat can check out the Pavilions Food Court. It will offer freshly made pizza, burritos and more vegan and vegetarian options than ever before. A variety of international cuisine will also be available in the dining area, and those pulling a late night can stop for a burger in the new Talley diner. They can perk up the next morning with coffee at Starbucks or Port City Java in the student center.
Talley will also be modernized to allow for Wi-Fi access throughout the building, and a two-story grand ballroom and meeting spaces will be equipped with audiovisual technology for presentations of up to 1,000 people.
Student organizations and several university services will also call Talley home, including student government, the Union Activities Board, student Senate, Student Union Administration and Facilities Management.
Quiet nooks and recreational spaces will be built into the new Talley – all part of the design to give it a living room feel. Large screen TVs will allow for group viewing on Wolfpack game days as well, says Jennifer Gilmore, spokeswoman for Campus Enterprises. And plans call for an elevated walkway across the train tracks to connect north and south campus.
Talley replaced NC State’s first student center — called the Student Union — which was built in 1952 and located in what is now the Erdahl-Cloyd wing of D.H. Hill Library.
The last vestige of Riddick Stadium has finally outlived its usefulness.
For almost 50 years, students have used the old Riddick Stadium Field House as little more than a conduit to get to the tunnel under the railroad tracks. But next month, the field house will be demolished, taking the last bit of NC State’s early football history with it.
University planners say the field house — which once housed the campus police force and later was a headquarters for contractors working on nearby construction projects — has outlived its usefulness and fallen into disrepair. Its demolition will also make way for plans to improve pedestrian access and safety in the area near the railroad tunnel and on local streets.
The two-story, white masonry field house was built in 1936.
“The building has been innovatively repurposed over the years. But its useful life without major investment has come to an end,’’ says Kevin MacNaughton, vice chancellor for facilities. He noted that the university has placed a plaque along Stinson Drive noting where Riddick Stadium once stood.
The first game was played on what was then Riddick Field in 1907. In 1912, wooden bleachers and a grandstand were added and students voted to name the stadium for Wallace Carl Riddick, who coached the 1898 and 1899 football teams and later became the college’s president. In 1916, the wooden bleachers were replaced with concrete ones.
But with 20,000 seats, Riddick proved too small for the growing crowds of football fans, and in later years NC State played most of its games on the road. When Carter Stadium (now Carter-Finley) opened in 1966, Wolfpack football officially moved off campus.
The remains of Riddick have come down slowly. It wasn’t until 2005 that the last of the concrete bleachers were leveled, making way for SAS Hall.
As for the field house, MacNaughton said the university is saving a “block S” that graced the side of the building. No other memorabilia related to its football past were found in the building, according to Tim Peeler, a communications official with the Athletics Department.
—Sylvia Adcock ’81
We are launching a new periodic series on redandwhiteforlife.com looking at changes to NC State’s campus. Some installments will look at major changes, such as the ongoing renovation of Talley Student Center, while others will look at smaller changes in various corners of campus.
Most NC State fans would agree that there’s nothing that satisfies their sports appetite more than a victory over rival UNC. And nothing could anger fans more than a lost chance to actually get that win.
That’s exactly what happened on this day in 1947, when the game between the State and Carolina was canceled, the only time in the rivalry’s history that happened.
A clipping from a 1947 News & Observer told the story of the raucous crowd outside of Frank Thompson Gymnasium.
The game, set to tip off at Frank Thompson Gymnasium, was supposed to determine the Southern Conference champion that season. Because so much was riding on the game, a crowd that exceeded capacity filled the gym. The fire marshal addressed the crowd, warning it that the game would be canceled unless some of the fans exited. The crowd stayed and the fire marshal canceled the game.
But there were still many fans on the outside clamoring to get in to Thompson Gym’s doors. They grew so impatient, in fact, that they removed on of the doors from its hinges with a ball-peen hammer. “I understood that as the fire marshal tried to leave, they tried to overturn his car,” said Buddy Johnson ‘47, a student at the time, to NC State magazine in 2012. “But they didn’t succeed.”
NC State would succeed a week later, finally getting a chance to and beating UNC the next week in the Southern Conference tournament, 50-48.
Pullen Hall had seen many different purposes carried out within its walls over the years as a campus landmark. The first men’s basketball game was played there in 1911. It had housed a dining hall, auditorium and library. The English and math departments has been based there.
“Since 1955, it had been home to the music department,” wrote Cherry Crayton ‘01, ‘03 MED , in a 2009 NC State magazine article about the fire. “But because of its age and mostly wooden construction, it was restricted to limited use.”
That age and wood gave way to a towering blaze on this day in 1965, when around 8,000 people watched in the night as Pullen Hall burn to the ground.
Firefighters fight the Pullen Hall blaze.
There had been a string of fires on campus that year. And on April 2, 18-year-old former student Vernon Dodd was arrested and charged with eight counts of unlawfully burning property. He went to trial a year later and pleaded guilty to five charges of willful and malicious burning of property, but not to the charge involving the Pullen fire, according to Crayton’s piece.
A new Pullen Hall went up on campus in 1987 and today houses student affairs offices.
Harris Cafeteria was struggling to get students in the door for lunch or dinner. The campus cafeteria was serving about half of its capacity to provide 1,200 meals for lunch and dinner.
So they came up with a plan to offer some cheaper alternatives, and the new lunch and dinner specials were announced on this day in 1971. The lunch special was “a selected entree,” two vegetables and “the choice of any beverage including milk,” according to a story in the Technician. The cost for all that food? Only 89 cents.
The dinner special was pretty much the same, except it cost 99 cents. The Technician listed some of the possible dinner entrees: chili macaroni, escalloped ham and cabbage, meat loaf, apple pancakes with sausage, and hamburger pie.
“This is an effort to try to get more student patronage,” said cafeteria manager Joe Grogan. “Of necessity, the entrees will have to be limited to less expensive dishes and can’t include anything expensive.”
But escalloped ham and cabbage?
There were other changes, with the elimination of something known as the Chicken Shack and the addition of sandwiches. The cafeteria would also continue to have weekly specials such as “a steamboat round roast beef.”