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Shovels and Sweets at Talley Launch

One small scoop turned into a giant leap for NC State as students and university officials broke ground Tuesday on the $120 million renovation of the Talley Student Center. Actually, you might say it took two scoops. The obligatory shovel-turn of earth was accompanied by a free scoop of Howling Cow ice cream for each member of the enthusiastic crowd that turned out for the ceremony.

“Talley is our legacy,” said student body president Chandler Thompson from a podium at the construction site. “We will transform Talley from a place on campus to a true destination for students.”

Chancellor Woodson (left) greets Dr. Banks Talley, former vice chancellor of student affairs.

Student fees, private donations and revenue from campus retail sales will pay for the expansion of the center, scheduled for completion in 2014. After the facelift, the venerable center will sport more than smoother lines and a youthful shine. Talley will gain space, adding more than 100,000 square feet for meetings, recreation, lounging, eating and shopping. And it will put on some technological muscle to beef up its capacity in cyberspace.

The new center will also reduce the university’s carbon footprint by incorporating a number of sustainable features, including a green roof that captures rainwater.

All in the Family

Chancellor Randy Woodson greeted the groundbreaking milestone with a broad smile and words of praise for the students, faculty, staff and alumni behind the renovation effort. He noted that both the architect, Turan Duda, and the builder, B.D. Rodgers, are NC State graduates.

“This is a family affair and I couldn’t be more proud of the alumni involved in this effort,” he said.

Woodson recognized another member of the NC State family who played a key role in moving the project forward. Former Chancellor Jim Woodward, who approved the project two years ago during his brief tenure in Holladay Hall, donned a hardhat and joined his successor in driving a ceremonial golden shovel into a soft patch of sandy soil.

“I’m grateful for his vision and leadership,” Woodson said. “This project wouldn’t have happened without him.”

Junior Jonathon Smith, a member of the building committee, said the expanded center would meet the needs of students for years to come.

“We’re living in the 21st century,” he said. “We need a 21st century student center.”

The Talley Student Center opened in 1972 to serve a student population of 14,000. The university has more than 34,000 students today.

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