North Carolina Central University (NCCU) formally broke ground June 30, 2021, on a 76,608-square-foot School of Business building that will double as a visually striking gateway to the university campus.
Located on the corner of Alston Avenue and Lawson Street, the building was designed and constructed using $30 million provided by the Connect NC Bond and $8.6 million in funds from North Carolina General Assembly. It replaces the 1956 C.T. Willis Building that was refurbished in early the 2000s but lacks critical facilities for today’s collaborative instruction and research methods.
“Through the new School of Business, we are building upon the high-quality education NCCU offers the citizens of our great state,” said NCCU Chancellor, Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D. “Students and faculty will collaborate and engage more easily with corporate and community leaders to generate ideas, cultivate solutions and introduce new practices that will improve business ingenuity, locally and globally. We are also fostering the talents of a diverse cohort of students who go on to make outstanding contributions within many of North Carolina’s high-growth business industries.”
A new 600-square-foot business incubator space will support student business startups and entrepreneurial efforts. The new building also includes executive conference rooms, state-of-the-art technology and a 200-seat auditorium for lectures, workshops, and classes.
A trading room and innovation labs will allow students to gain practical experience in applying financial management concepts. A behavioral research lab will include a “focus study room” for professional development and experiential instruction.
“As the School of Business continues to forge into discovering new and exciting industry partnerships, and with an ever-stronger commitment to the support of entrepreneurial endeavors and graduate study, this building provides the most advantageous frame for our students to ensure that creativity can be spurred, innovation promoted, and business education most efficiently relayed,” said Anthony Nelson, Ph.D., dean, NCCU School of Business.
Jaden Pledger, an NCCU junior majoring in business administration and marketing, said he is looking forward to learning in the new building when it opens in 2022.
“The new building will set a high standard for students and remind them to always strive for excellence in the classroom and in corporate America,” Pledger said.
For Hospitality and Tourism Administration students, a teaching kitchen and dining room will provide a space for practical application.
Community outreach and student development will come together through introduction of pro-bono services, including financial counseling and tax assistance for low-income residents, as well as technical assistance for local small businesses. The new building will also house an expanded Cybersecurity Lab, Real Estate Center and Center for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.
“This building will allow the NCCU School of Business to have a new facility that truly supports its internationally taught programs with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and collaborative learning, while also delivering a signature building, creating a new campus gateway,” said Victor Vines, president of Vines Architecture, the building’s designer. “I believe we have created a nontraditional learning environment that will rival the most prestigious of business schools while contributing to the overall transformation of NCCU’s campus.”
Scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2022, the new School of Business building will set the tone for the growing millennial campus and position NCCU at the frontier of business education.
“For decades, the NCCU School of Business has educated and trained numerous nationally accomplished and recognized business leaders who now are part of our esteemed alumni community. I am certain that in the decades to come we will build on this rich legacy, and this new facility will help us move forward in our mission of Charting a New Landscape for Student-Centered Success,” Akinleye added.
Pictures from the ceremony can be found here.