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Life on Campus at NC State

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NC State: More Than Just Bricks

After graduation from college most people stay connected with their alma mater by going to, and watching, sporting events. However, being an NC State fan, that’s led to an incredible drain on my overall happiness, attitude towards other people, and general well-being. So after I was granted access by our benevolent overlord to post stories on Backing The Pack, I’ve wanted to try and post some content about all the non-sports happenings going on at the greatest university known to man. I’ve also recently moved from Raleigh to the Washington DC area, so I’m doing anything and everything I can to stay as connected to NCSU as humanly possible.

One of the things I’ve never been able to put into words is why exactly I care so much about NC State. We all know that your general attitude while following the athletics programs can range from mind numbingly depressing to insanely frustrating. In my lifetime, it’s seemed like for every 2015 Villanova NCAA Basketball Tournament win, there’s a 2015 TCU NCAA Baseball Regional collapse.

However every time I walk through campus, the place still feels like home and that’s a big reason why I keep throwing money at football, basketball, and baseball tickets. And I feel like the vast majority of State fans are the same way. We’re a different breed entirely when it comes to the passion we show for our alma mater, for better or for worse.

That otherworldly sense of devotion to State has led me to continue to stay as up to date as possible with what is going on around campus since I’ve graduated. And anyone who has been to Raleigh recently knows all about the developments going on at State, on Hillsborough St, at Cameron Village, and in Downtown Raleigh. There are completed projects like the Reynolds renovation, Talley renovation, or Hunt Library (and if you haven’t seen those then I’d recommend doing so on your next trip to Raleigh), but there’s still a lot going on in the coming years that will continue to change the look of the area. Below I’ve listed a few of the recent projects around campus and plan to make posts for any future changes to campus and to the surrounding areas as well.

Harrelson Hall:

Harrelson was the center at most debates regarding any changes to campus for years. It was circular, it had a spiral staircase up the middle, and the classrooms were triangularly shaped. The bookstore moved to the base of Harrelson during the Talley renovations & construction, but once the new Talley opened then Harrelson finally closed its doors for good. Harrelson was demolished last year and there’s currently a green space where the circular building once stood. RIP.

Photo Gallery of some early design concepts to replace Harrelson.

Carmichael Gym:

One of the biggest take aways I got from going to UVA for grad school was that State really needs to promote the Carmichael Gym complex to potential students visiting campus. What we had when I was at State from 2009 – 2013 was far nicer than what we had on campus “grounds” at UVA and at most of the other schools I’ve visited. However over the next 3 years, a project will be underway to connect all of the buildings in that area of campus, and complete various renovation and addition efforts.

Case Commons:

A new dorm for the men’s and women’s basketball teams will be constructed next to Reynolds Coliseum with an estimated completion date in the summer of 2019. This project got pushed back a year, but should be a nice recruiting feature that Kevin Keatts and the new staff can use to their advantage as they bring us back to back to back nattys starting in 2019.

PNC Arena:

Debate is always going to rage on in the Raleigh area regarding putting a new basketball arena on Centennial Campus (or a basketball & hockey arena in downtown Raleigh), but as of now PNC Arena houses the men’s basketball team and in 2015 some cosmetic renovations were discussed. I wasn’t able to find anything regarding these renovations subsequent to 2015, so I’m not certain if these are still coming down the pipeline in future years, but it should be interesting to see what updates the arena’s management team decides to make to the 18 year old building.

Reynolds:

I feel like most State fans have seen pictures of the Reynolds renovations, but in case you haven’t, definitely give it a look. The entry way is now an NCSU Athletics Hall of Fame (*insert joke here about the post-1990 section of the NCSU Athletics Hall of Fame*) with trophies, pictures, and relics from decades ago. The court has also been shifted to the far end of the building to eliminate those awful sight lines Reynolds was known for in its heyday. I went to the pre-season scrimmage and Tennessee State game at Reynolds last season and really enjoyed the experience each time. I’d love to see the men’s program play a few more games there each season during the winter break / exam time period (like State did during the Gott man’s first season in Raleigh). Reynolds also now features the Coaches Corner next to the main entrance, with statues of Kay Yow, Jim Valvano, Everett Case, and Norm Sloan.

Talley:

During my time at State I cannot remember walking through Talley unless I was going there for Taco Bell or sprinting to the nearest bathroom soon after eating Taco Bell. NCSU now has close to 10 separate restaurants in Talley, have opened an expanded bookstore on the 1st and 2nd levels of the building, and have added various ballrooms, conference rooms, and space for student clubs and organizations throughout. The original plan called for a bridge that stretched from Talley and over the railroad tracks that splits campus to Broughton Hall, but that was left out of the final plan (although it could still be added in the future). I’m jealous that current students get to experience this version of Talley, but then again the new version doesn’t feature a Taco Bell so in the end it might be a wash.

Hunt Library:

I didn’t spend a lot of time in Hunt as a student as it was completed right about the time I graduated and I’ve always been team #DHThrill. However Hunt is extremely nice, as there are massive windows pretty much everywhere you look, countless study rooms, it features a view from the top that overlooks Lake Raleigh, and comes complete with a book robot.

Stateview Hotel:

Mariott is opening a hotel on Centennial Campus in October.

Engineering Oval:

State announced in 2015 that they’ll be adding the “Engineering Oval” building to the Oval on Centennial Campus next to Hunt Library. Centennial’s continued to grow in recent years with student living options, standard apartments, and a new Chancellor’s Residence. I feel like in future years other colleges will try to open up their own building on Centennial as well. There’s definitely space for future development and it’s basically the only spot on main campus or Centennial that they can continue to grow facilities-wise.

The Lonnie Poole golf course and club house also opened on Centennial a few years back. However, my only experience with golf is that I once visited a Top Golf in Houston and spent the entire time trying my damnedest to out-drive the 10 year old girl next me, so I can’t really speak to what Lonnie Poole looks like.

Murphy Center Broadcast Studio:

This is going to be an addition to the Murphy Center at Carter Finley in response to the new ACC Network.

Gregg Museum of Art and Design:

The old Chancellor’s Residence was re-purposed to the new home of the university art museum. Set to open in August.

That’s all I’ve got for this first installment of Life on Campus at NC State. Here’s to hoping that the next time I do one of these campus updates, I can add Doak Field renovations (or a Doak Field 2.0 project on Centennial complete with an NCSU beer garden) to this list.

Next time I plan to do an update on all the goings-on that have taken place on Hillsborough Street recently. The changes there have been even more frequent than the changes to campus.