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  • Centennial Campus Celebrates its 30th Anniversary


    What began as a land transfer of 355 acres between the state of North Carolina and NC State University in 1984, Centennial Campus has now become one of the top research campuses in North America.


    Business, government and university leaders gathered in the James B. Hunt, Jr. Library to celebrate the campus’s 30th anniversary. Chancellor Woodson praised past and current leaders who turned the original master plan into reality.


    “Centennial Campus continues to be an important asset for NC State,” said Woodson. “It’s a testament to the many people who have worked long and hard to turn it into a national model for public-private partnerships.”


    The campus has been on a roll of late. According to Michael Harwood, associate vice chancellor in charge of Centennial development and infrastructure, 60 percent of all of development and construction has occurred in the last five years. In addition to opening two office buildings during that time, campus leaders also added a student housing complex (with a dining facility), a privately built, upscale apartment complex, golf clubhouse, and the Hunt Library, which continues to receive national and international recognition for its design and innovative features. Since its inception, more than $1 billion has also spent on infrastructure development on Centennial.


    As a result of its progress, the campus continues to attract companies and governmental agencies that want ready access to NC State researchers and students. More than 70 companies, governmental agencies, and non-profit organizations inhabit the 1,227-acre property (which includes the Centennial Biomedical Campus). On any given day during the academic year, more than 11,000 employees, university staff and students frequent the two campuses.


    University leaders are not finished with their plans.


    A new hotel and conference center is slated to open on Centennial in 2017, while a state-of-the-art Textiles Innovation Center that will house is also planned. A new building on the Centennial Biomedical Campus that will house College of Veterinary staff and corporate partners is also in the works.


    Meanwhile, long-term, NC State has unveiled “Vision 2034,” a blueprint for what Centennial might look like in the next 20 years. Among the ideas presented was for the entire campus to be used as a “proving ground” for all kinds of new technologies. The plan also calls for new collaborative spaces, advanced transportation technologies linking the NC State campuses, and a virtual network that gives research partners remote access to on-campus equipment and labs. Part of the plan also includes a “town center,” where residents and visitors can enjoy dining, entertainment retail, housing and office space. Campus officials have just begun the developmental work on that property, which will be located adjacent to the Hunt Library.


    “Centennial Campus has really just scratched the surface when it comes to utilizing its full potential,” said Dennis Kekas, associate vice chancellor in charge of Centennial partnerships. “It’s exciting to see what the future might bring. I think we can be a beacon for how research campuses in the U.S. and the rest of the world can fully integrate the vast resources of a first-class university with the research needs of industry and government.” 



     

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