Keith Nichols, News Services, 919/515-3470
May 9, 2006
Hunt Library Would Provide Needed Space For NC State Students
It’s not unusual to find North Carolina State University students gathered in the halls
and stairwells of D.H. Hill Library to study for their final exams. These unconventional study
areas aren’t just convenient, in many cases they are also a student’s last refuge.
NC State ranks last in available library space among the state’s 16 public universities,
with a ratio of about 7 square feet per student. D.H. Hill Library and other research libraries on
campus provide less than one-quarter of the seating capacity needed to meet national and
university system standards, which call for seating for 20 percent of the student population.
That could change if the university receives legislative approval for its request for state
funding for the new James B. Hunt Jr. Library to be built on Centennial Campus. The new
Hunt Library would add about 200,000 square feet and double seating capacity at a projected
cost of about $114 million. The NC State Board of Trustees approved the library naming at its
regular meeting on April 28.
In addition to the library, the building would exhibit the former governor’s memorabilia
in the Hunt Gallery. The Institute for Emerging Issues, founded by Hunt in 1986, would also
move to the new building.
Known as an advocate for education and economic development, Hunt served as North
Carolina’s governor for four terms and is an alumnus of NC State. Hunt’s vision led to the
creation of NC State’s Centennial Campus, which has become a national model for business,
government and university partnerships.
During NC State’s reaccreditation process in 2004, the Southern Association of Colleges
and Schools said library space was an issue that needed to be addressed. The university
responded by putting a new library at the top of its legislative funding requests last year.
Based on a plan developed with a consulting firm four years ago, the university has
already begun work on expansion and renovation of library buildings. Renovation of D.H. Hill
Library's East Wing will be complete in November. The renovation is being paid for with funds
from the N.C. Higher Education Bond Referendum passed in 2000.
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