The new Alfonso Elder Student Union under construction at North Carolina Central University will open in the Fall according to NCCU Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Engagement William Clemm last month on a WebEx call.
The groundwork for the A.E. Student Union begun in June of 2019 with the mission to create more opportunities for NCCU students to grow their skills and to inspire student leaders to think of bigger events to host for the student body on campus.
“This place will give our student organizations a new level of event planning and programming and opportunity that this campus has never seen before,” Clemm said.
Despite some supply delays, the COVID-19 pandemic did not have a major effect on the progression of the new NCCU student center.
Subcontractors at NCCU are required to adhere to the university social distancing measures and are “completing daily cleaning routines” on the construction sites Clemm said.
The $36 million student center will be able to accommodate more students with its 1,750 seat auditorium and also have the space to host larger gatherings such as conferences, banquets, and other events and occasions. There will also be a food court that will contain restaurants such as Chick-fil-A, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and two other dining options through the hospitality company, Sodexo.
A percentage of the new student center will be paid for by student debt service fees.
One student said that she is excited for the new student center to open but is concerned there won’t be any events held there in the Fall because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“With (COVID-19) and everything, I don’t think we’re going to have any events anytime soon,” Sophomore Social work student Zamaiyah Freeman said.
“So I feel like it’s going to be of some use but not really for any use.”
Freeman added that she is looking forward to eating from Moe’s Southwest Grill when the new student union opens.
As of right now, it is unclear what will be done with the current student union, however, the school is planning on possibly refurbishing the building.
Video by Aaliyah Bowden
This story was updated 4/1/21. There was a fact error stating that the new student center would open in August. The new student center is scheduled to open Fall of 2021.