Coming Home

The fall semester is here, and NC State’s campus once again hums with activity. But as many faculty and staff return here for the first time since the pandemic forced a shift to remote work, things might look — and sound — a little different.

For starters, the Belltower now has actual bells. Two new marvels of modern architecture grace Centennial Campus. And, for the first time in nearly three decades, you can enter the D.H. Hill Jr. Library from Hillsborough Street.

We’ve rounded up a few of the biggest changes from the last year, including new construction and significant renovations to some of the university’s hallowed spaces.

Wellness and Recreation Center

runner on turf sprint ramp at NC State's Wellness and Recreation Center

While it opened quietly in the fall of 2020 and still operates at reduced capacity, NC State’s new Wellness and Recreation Center is becoming the bustling hub of activity it was designed to be. At almost 92,000 square feet, the new center provides indoor and outdoor functional training areas, a climbing center with bouldering cave, a fully functional teaching kitchen, and a multilevel turf sprint ramp. All this in addition to cardio and weightlifting machines, free weight stations and multipurpose space for yoga and other group fitness classes.

  • Download the new Wellness and Recreation app (Android or iOS) for operating hours, group fitness schedules and more.
  • Check out the photo gallery.

Memorial Belltower at Henry Square

NC State's Memorial Belltower lit red at night

NC State’s Legend in Stone completed an extensive renovation in 2021 that includes the installation of a 55-bell carillon in place of old speakers. The Belltower also boasts interior stairs for the first time; upgrades to its HVAC, lighting and electrical systems; extensive construction upgrades and refurbishment; and enhanced accessibility. In short, it looks and sounds more beautiful than ever.

D.H. Hill Jr. Library

interior of renovated D.H. Hill Jr. Library at NC State

A new grand staircase floods the Brickyard entrance of the D.H. Hill Jr. Library with natural light, crowning an extensive renovation of the second and third floors. The library now boasts a new Academic Success Center and upgraded technology-rich spaces. And for the first time in nearly 30 years, visitors can access its Hillsborough Street entrance. It features new sliding glass doors that open onto a freshly landscaped terrace and lawn along Founders Drive, as well as convenient access to Wolfline bus stops.

Fitts-Woolard Hall

Fitts-Woolard Hall at NC State

With the completion of Fitts-Woolard Hall in June 2020, the College of Engineering now has eight of its nine academic departments on Centennial Campus. The 225,000-square-foot facility is home to the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering and the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, as well as the college’s administrative offices. Its cutting-edge laboratories and classrooms are used to advance research and education in everything from biomanufacturing to health systems engineering.

Plant Sciences Building

NC State's Plant Sciences building under construction in July 2021

Currently under construction in the heart of Centennial Campus, NC State’s Plant Sciences Building is anticipated to open in the spring of 2022. The state-of-the art facility will house 185,000 square feet of research labs, growth chambers and environmental rooms, rooftop greenhouses, and office and conference spaces. The centerpiece of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences’ Plant Sciences Initiative, the building recently won a U.S. Department of Energy award for energy efficiency.