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Life on Campus at NC State: December 2018

It’s been a while since I last posted one of these campus updates. Damn work getting in the way and stuff.

If anyone’s planning on being back in Raleigh for the holidays over the next month and planning on making a stop by NCSU, then there have been a few changes to campus & the surrounding areas that I’ve detailed out below:

James T Valvano Arena:

Kay Yow Court in James T Valvano Arena located within Historic William Neal Reynolds Coliseum. Rolls right off the tongue.

Steven already made a post about this, but this was one of those developments that I think most people had been been waiting to see for quite a while now. Everyone is well aware of the Jimmy V saga with his years at State, departure from NCSU, his fight against Cancer, and his subsequent legacy with the Jimmy V Foundation. However, it had been a long time coming to finally see something named after Valvano directly related to NCSU Athletics. The Coaches’ Corner outside of Reynolds Coliseum was a good first step, as it honored Everett Case, Norm Sloan, Kay Yow, and Jim Valvano, but this was something I think everyone will be glad to see in order to continue and repair that relationship and properly honor Jimmy V.

The arena will be officially dedicated during the annual Heritage Game against Western Carolina on Dec. 5. I’m going to air some grievances with the NCSU Athletics Department with their scheduling of this game on a Wednesday night (it’s normally on a Saturday), especially with this being a more notable occasion than past Heritage Games.

There’s a tangled web of rights and licensing issues that might restrict State from ever being able to name the floor at PNC Arena after someone, but I’ve always been of the belief that State needed to do a lot more to honor both Everett Case & Valvano. This of course doesn’t leave much room for Norm Sloan, but there are only so many naming rights to go around. Case essentially was the father of NCSU basketball, and the ACC in general. Valvano was flat out wronged by the N&O and the UNC-system Board of Governors (a group that has made it clear over the last few years that blatant academic fraud is not within their purview). If State is ever able to name the court at the PNC after an individual, I’d love to see it named after Everett Case.

I mean at the very least I’d like to see a flaming basketball tattoo placed on the court in tribute to Dennis Horner. I’m not asking for much here.

Wilson College of Textiles:

NCSU made the announcement earlier this month that Fred Eugene Wilson Jr. and his family had made an endowment of $28 million to NCSU’s College of Textiles. The College of Textiles will now be named the Wilson College of Textiles. This slots the Wilson College of Textiles alongside the Poole College of Management as the second named college within NC State.

This obviously shows incredible generosity on the part of the Wilson family, and is yet another example of the great work done by Randy Woodson during his tenure as Chancellor at NCSU. Since his arrival in Raleigh in 2010, Woodson has elevated the perception of the university across the board, much of which has to do with the incredible fundraising efforts. #TheRandyManCan

Holmes Hall:

In September 2018, the NC State Board of Trustees approved the University’s name change for the University College Commons to Holmes Hall. The name change was made in recognition of Irwin Holmes, who enrolled at NCSU in the fall of 1956. Holmes, along with three others, each became NC State’s first African-American undergraduates. Holmes then subsequently became the university’s first black graduate when he graduated with a degree in electrical engineering in 1960.

Holmes Hall sits on Cates Avenue and houses the University’s Exploratory Studies program, Study Abroad program, classrooms and University Housing offices.

Fitts-Woolard Hall:

Earlier this year, NCSU broke ground on Fitts-Woolard Hall on Centennial Campus. This new building on Centennial Campus will close the engineering oval and the naming rights will go to Edward P. Fitts Jr. and Edgar S. Woolard in recognition of their $25 million gift.

DH Hill Renovations:

Ever since Hunt Library opened up on Centennial Campus a few years ago, NCSU has made an effort to upgrade different parts of DH Hill based on the additional floor space within DH Hill as a large number of books have now been moved to Hunt Library. This newly announced project is one of the more intensive efforts to renovate DH Hill, and will result in a portion of the library being closed from May 2019 to August 2020 for a large-scale renovation project that will be update the first floor entrance, the second and third floor bookstacks, and part of the fourth floor bookstacks.

Hillsborough Street Parking:

This is less of an actual, in-progress renovation or upgrade effort, but more of one that we could see in the coming years. Parking availability on Hillsborough has been a big issue for a long time now. There is street parking, some off-street surface lots behind the commercial buildings, and on-campus parking on weekends & after 5:00 pm on weekdays. However, there are no real parking decks on Hillsborough, and it severely limits the amount of non-student foot traffic that may end up on Hillsborough on any given day. I’ve always thought that the two surface level lots owned by NCSU beside North Hall, and the one beside the NC SECU further up Hillsborough Street, would be perfect areas to construct small 3-4 level parking garages that could really alleviate some of these issues. With the new focus on renovating Hillsborough Street, the businesses up and down the street could really benefit from an increased supply of parking to meet that increased demand.

Trinity Road Tunnel:

This has been in the works for a little while now, and anyone who has attended a football or basketball game so far this year has likely already seen it, but the NC DOT finished construction of the pedestrian tunnel beneath Trinity Road. Construction on this project began in early 2018.

Carter-Finley Bojangles:

The Bojangles on Western Blvd. is a staple of the culture and student life at NC State. People traverse streets all around Raleigh to make it to the Western Blvd. Bojangles prior to tailgates, and then head back after tailgates to grab some food to help battle through the post-tailgate hangovers. The line at that Bojangles oftentimes will stretch through the parking lot, and down Western Blvd. all throughout football game-days in Raleigh. However, coming soon there will be a second location within close proximity to Carter-Finely, and this one will be within an easy walking distance.

ITB Insider obtained site review plans, which noted that Bojangles will be occupying a vacant 1.6 acre parcel of land and developing it into the site of a 4,180 square foot Bojangles. This location will be found at 1541 Sunday Drive, in the area where various office buildings, Wendy’s, and a gas station are currently located just around the corner from Carter-Finley.

Drive Shack to open in Raleigh:

I’d mentioned this in a previous post, but I was back in Raleigh over Thanksgiving and saw the polls for the new Drive Shack structure going up alongside the stretch of highway that runs past PNC Arena and Carter-Finley. Per their website, the location is set to open in Spring 2019. Drive Shack is a Top-Golf competitor and will be opening locations in Raleigh, Richmond, West Palm Beach, Marietta, and New Orleans over the next few years, with their flagship location already open in Orlando. No word yet if new Carolina Hurricanes owner, Tom Dundon, will be stopping by anytime after the location opens.

Atrium Redesign:

When I started in State in 2009, the Atrium was a place that most students entered to pick up Chick-fil-a, and then left to go eat in their dorms. The facilities weren’t overly nice, and the options were very limited. Throughout 2010-2011, the Atrium got a pretty massive upgrade, and over the summer of 2018, another upgrade was made to install new digital menu boards, move the service counter area, remove a couple of cash registers, and install new wood flooring and carpeting.

Apartments & Guasaca to Hillsborough:

This came from another ITB Insider exclusive, but Guasaca will soon open its newest location in Raleigh on the ground floor of the new Target on Hillsborough street, underneath what used to be The Alley.

University Park Condos will also soon be constructed in the space currently occupied by the shuttered gas station located beside the Arby’s further up Hillsborough between NCSU and Carter-Finley. These condos will include an 88-unit, 5-story, two-building condominium project and will be located at 3411 Hillsborough.

Sultan Kebab House:

Sultan Kebab House is a restaurant that is located on Western Boulevard in the former Gourmet Factory location. This Turkish restaurant is owned and operated by Kenan Demir, who was adopted by Chris Corchiani during his overseas professional basketball career.

Time Money Best College in Every State:

Back in September 2018, Time Money posted a listing of the best college in every state. NCSU was the selection for the NC. These rankings were based on cost, graduation rates, academic offerings, social scene, and location. The link above notes that NC State has a 78% graduation rate, costs approximately $14,000 per year based on the estimated 2018-2019 price, and that the graduates have average early career earnings potential of $53,800.

US News & World Report Rankings:

Also in September 2018, the US News & Word Report ranked NCSU at #80 on the annual list of the nation’s top colleges and universities. This slotted NCSU at #32 among public colleges and universities.

As I’ve said before, these rankings are largely irrelevant to the true quality of academics at any one university, and factor in some questionable metrics to come to their overall conclusions. However, it is undeniably a very good look for NCSU to continue to rise in these rankings. Right or wrong, these are the type of lists that potential students and their parents will look at as they are applying to, and then subsequently selecting from, different academic institutions. In the end it just simply helps NCSU from a perception point of view.

That’s all I’ve got for this campus update. Go Pack, onward and upward to a double digit win football season please.