By Morgan High
Fitts-Woolard Hall, home to the Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering, was named “Public Project of the Year” by Business North Carolina as part of the magazine’s annual Building North Carolina awards. The project was recognized as one of seven top commercial developments across the state based on design, innovation and community impact.
The 225,000-square-foot LEED Silver Certified facility can house more than 1,500 students and 170 faculty and staff members, equipped with flexible teaching and research labs, classrooms, offices and collaboration spaces. Designed to serve as a teaching tool, transparent labs and exposed components throughout the building put engineering and sustainability on display.
The magazine cites the location on NC State’s Centennial Campus as “a research park aimed at mixing teaching, research and commercialization efforts at one of the nation’s most highly rated engineering schools.”
The opening of Fitts-Woolard Hall in 2020 marked the next step in the College of Engineering’s move to Centennial Campus. The building is home to the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering; the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering; and the dean’s administrative offices.
“Our faculty are working on some of the most challenging problems around civil infrastructure and protection from natural hazards including earthquakes and floods,” Morton Barlaz, head of the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering, told Business NC. “The new building enables this research with space for a broad range of experimental work involving our students.”
Fitts-Woolard Hall was made possible by a $25 million gift from engineering alumni Edward P. Fitts and Edgar S. Woolard, marking the largest campus-building naming in university history. The gift was part of a commitment by the College of Engineering to raise $60 million in private support. The project also received $75 million from the voters of North Carolina through a 2016 bond referendum, an additional $2 million in design funding from the state legislature, and NC State provided $17 million in support infrastructure.
Development partners on the project include Raleigh’s Clark Nexsen as the designer and Durham’s Skanska as the construction manager. Both firms worked on the adjacent James B. Hunt Jr. Library project.
This story was originally published on the NC State News website.