The sounds and ugliness of construction is apparent throughout the north and east side of campus and it is only the beginning. As a part of the strategic plan of Preeminence 2020, the new union and health center is only a spark of construction that will be continuous for years to come.
In the literacy provided about Preeminence 2020, Chancellor Harold L. Martin, Sr. stated in an opening letter, “Higher education is facing significant social, economic and global challenges.” Meaning that currently N.C. A&T is not at the potential it could be to compete with other universities.
The vision of Preeminence 2020 includes being “the institution of choice to high-achieving students who are inspired by outstanding teaching and learning, civic engagement, transformative research, and creative scholarship to solve societal challenges.”
This includes making campus attractive as well as providing state of the art buildings to strengthen the reasoning behind the name North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University.
According to Andrew Perkins, Associate Vice Chancellor for Facilities, he feels pretty strongly about the new student health center opening right after fall break, on Oct. 8.
The Memorial student union is an on going project that is projected to be finished and fully functioning by Homecoming 2017.
The union was closed for business on May 30. The union will not actually be torn down until the third week in November. The office of facilities will make it an exciting moment just like with the groundbreaking of the new student health center. The plan is to have Chancellor Martin alongside the Board of Trustees break the ground.
The union will be demolished in sections because of its size; it will not be torn down all at once. Some materials will be reused such as brick and concrete. This process will take roughly about four weeks to complete.
The office of facilities has put up temporary lights, mobilization fences, and a control gate on Drew Drive between the Academic Science Building and Barnes Hall for students safety.
New detours for pedestrians have been implemented because of the mobilization fences. These fences will be in place for the next three years.
In December 2014 construction is planned to begin for the union. The student union is meant to be the solid connection between old and new campus.
Perkins described a descriptive vision of Oct. 2017, “Park your car at the parking deck, you walk leisurely through the parking deck down through Aggie Village the green, pass the reflection pool, go into the front door of this new student center, see all the things that are ready in there, go out the back door and go through the green near Marteena and Barnes and Crosby Hall, go down to the stadium…”
While this vision is becoming reality parking has been expanded for students, faculty and staff’s convenience.
Jacob Teagle, director of parking and transportation services, explained that two new locations have been added. “Park & Ride” are by War Memorial Stadium and the rear of Aggie Stadium and shuttles are available to take persons to and from their vehicle. Teagle also expressed the parking deck is an option.
“The parking deck is sold separately from the surface lot permit. Anyone purchasing a deck permit is restricted to the parking deck, said Teagle, “If an individual purchases a surface lot permit they are not authorized to use the parking deck unless they pay the hourly rate.”
This is only the beginning of construction on A&T’s campus, but seems to have the worst effect on students. Our campus is officially a diamond in the rough.
- Taylor Young Managing Editor