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Student Center, New Residence Halls Under Construction

From left to right: Jeff Paine, Founding Principal, Duda|Paine; John Atkins, Chairman and CEO, O’Brien Atkins; John Farrar, CEO, Structure Building Company; Terrance Holt, President, Holt Brothers Construction; Dr. Cornelius Wooten, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, NCCU; Dr. Angela Coleman, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, NCCU; Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, Chancellor, NCCU; George Hamilton, Chairman, NCCU Board of Trustees; Darryl Allison, Member, University of North Carolina System Board of Governors; Tymia Atkinson, Student, Class of 2021, NCCU; Calvin Stevens, Director of Business Development and Diversity, Balfour Beatty; Torry Holt, Vice President Holt Brothers Construction.
From left to right: Victor Vines, Principal, Vines Architecture; Dr. Cornelius Wooten, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, NCCU; Akua J. Matherson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, NCCU; Michael De La Rosa, Principal, Corvias; George Hamilton, Chairman, NCCU Board of Trustees; Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, Chancellor, NCCU; Jordan Smith, Student, Class of 2020, NCCU; Darryl Allison, Member, University of North Carolina System Board of Governors; Aaron Thomas, Principal, Metcon; Dr. Angela Coleman, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, NCCU.
From left to right: Dr. Cornelius Wooten, Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, NCCU; Akua J. Matherson, Associate Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance, NCCU; Michael De La Rosa, Principal, Corvias; George Hamilton, Chairman, NCCU Board of Trustees; Dr. Johnson O. Akinleye, Chancellor, NCCU; Jordan Smith, Student, Class of 2020, NCCU; Darryl Allison, Member, University of North Carolina System Board of Governors; Dr. Angela Coleman, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, NCCU; Aaron Thomas, Principal, Metcon; Victor Vines, Principal, Vines Architecture.

North Carolina Central University officially broke ground on construction of two new residence halls and a 100,230 square-foot student center, each designed to support student success on the growing campus.

University leaders joined construction and design partners, as well as faculty, staff and students to witness the ceremonial shovels deployed at three separate construction sites.

“These modern facilities will provide students with innovative living and learning environments that are on par with the excellent classroom education they already receive at NCCU,” said NCCU Chancellor Johnson O. Akinleye.

The $47 million Student Center, expected to open in 2021, replaces the 51-year-old Alfonso Elder Student Union, the oldest still in use in the University of North Carolina System. Funds for the project were generated by a $300 annual student fee approved by the student body in 2014. The new center will serve as a student services headquarters, with meeting rooms, a commuter lounge, and spaces set aside for student organizations. Plans also include a 1,750-seat auditorium and a 1,000-seat banquet hall, along with retail food items, computer stations, and other services to address student needs.

The design was developed jointly by O’Brien Atkins Associates of Durham, Duda | Paine Architects and MHTN Architects of Salt Lake City. Contractors include Balfour Beatty Construction and two minority-owned North Carolina companies, Holt Brothers Construction and Structure Building Company.

“Construction isn’t about building a building; for us, it’s about community impact,” said Terrence Holt, of Holt Brothers. “The Student Center will become the heart of the N.C. Central campus. It will create an inviting new entryway, and it will become the center for campus life, giving students a place to congregate, collaborate and connect. That’s why we’re excited to work on this project.”

The two new residence halls – Chidley South and George Street – will expand residential capacity at NCCU by 1,274 beds in semi-suite and apartment-style units. The Chidley South and George Street accommodations are scheduled to open in 2020. An additional residential hall, Lawson Street Residential Hall, is projected for completion in 2021.

The residential buildings were designed by Vines Architecture of Raleigh and are being developed through a public-private partnership, known as a P3. Private partners include Corvias, a company that specializes in development through partnerships with government and higher education organizations, and Metcon, a minority-owned construction firm founded in Pembroke, North Carolina. 

“Through this partnership, we are proud to provide resilient, modern living spaces for the North Carolina Central University student community,” said John Picerne, chief executive officer of Corvias. “We are even more proud that our partnership provides for reinvestments throughout the next 40 years so future NCCU students receive like-new buildings, eliminating the challenges around escalating deferred maintenance costs.”

NCCU senior criminal justice major Jordan Smith said she really didn’t mind paying extra fees or being awakened recently each morning by the sound of construction, even though she will graduate before the new amenities are complete.

“For NCCU, it’s a new chapter,” Smith said. “The work we all do now is for those who come after us.”

Other construction projects in the pipeline for NCCU include a new School of Business expected to break ground in 2020. Funding of $36.4 million for the new building came through the Connect NC bond package and the North Carolina General Assembly.

NCCU enrollment for the 2018-19 academic year stood at 8,207 students.

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