Greensboro's African American Community Newspaper since 1967

NCA&TSU breaks ground for new residence hall


North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University Chancellor Dr. Harold L. Martin Sr. breaks ground for the new Bluford Residence Hall alongside Jazlynn Smith, an A&T student and president of the university’s Residence Hall Association. Photo by Ivan Saul Cutler/Carolina Peacemaker.[/caption]

Administrators, students, faculty, staff, alumni and members of the university’s Board of Trustees at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University gathered Thursday (Feb. 22) to officially break ground for the Bluford Residence Hall, the university’s first new dormitory in nearly two decades.

The building under construction at Bluford and Nocho Streets, across from Harrison Auditorium, will be N.C. A&T’s 16th on-campus residence hall. It is named for Ferdinand D. Bluford, the university’s third president who served for 30 years and for whom A&T’s library also is named. Bluford’s nephew, John W. Bluford III, a former vice chairman of the N.C. A&T Board of Trustees, was on hand for the celebration and called it a testament to his family’s proud legacy of service.

Bluford Residence Hall’s four floors, each with its own full kitchen, will house 405 students in 66 two- and four-bedroom suites for a total of 94 traditional double rooms, as well as two staff apartments. It will include amenities such as a gaming room, multipurpose room, private courtyard, on-site laundry and retail operations on the first floor. The residence hall is being built in close proximity to the university’s academic classrooms, Williams Dining Hall, F.D. Bluford Library and student gathering spots.

A&T, which remains the nation’s largest historically Black university for a 10th consecutive year, has a record-setting enrollment of 13,885 students. About 6,000 of those students live in on-campus housing.

A&T first announced plans for Bluford Residence Hall in 2018. William Barlow, interim associate vice chancellor for business and finance-facilities, noted those plans evolved under the leadership of his retired predecessor, Andrew Perkins, with guidance from N.C. A&T Real Estate Foundation Executive Director Kim Cameron, support from the university’s budget and finance officers and input from A&T students who worked on the project’s scope and design.

The North Carolina General Assembly approved the project, which will cost about $64 million.

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors issued about $59 million in bonds on behalf of A&T last summer to pay for construction.

Construction is expected to be complete by spring 2026.

Bluford Residence Hall symbolizes the growth of the university, said Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. It also embodies its response to the demand for more student housing to accommodate more of the tens of thousands of prospective students who seek admission here each year from across North Carolina and around the country.

Bluford Residence Hall will be the university’s first development in Precinct F of the campus master plan. Bounded by Lindsay, Dudley, Laurel and Bluford streets, its south end is adjacent to A&T’s National Historic District and its north by World War Memorial Stadium, which also is on the National Register of Historic Places.

“This will be A&T’s most dynamic area of construction over the next 14 years,” said Martin. “Bluford Hall will be joined by a new complex for the John R. and Kathy R. Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences – which continues to grow – as well as athletics fields and a new wellness and recreation center, a performing arts center, two more residence halls, a new University Police Department building and more.

“The facilities in Precinct F will support our university for many generations to come, and create an exciting new dimension of North Carolina A&T that signals to the world our focus on the future and that this university is here to stay.”