Campus Changes: Overhaul of student center continues

March 12, 2013
By Bill Krueger

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.”

2011-05-31northlawnrenderinglarge1The 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.

2011-05-31southentrancerenderinglargeTalley 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.

—Diana Smith

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