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Friday January 15th

N.C. State to renovate union

	<p>North Carolina State University is currently renovating the Talley Student Center after a year of strong student opposition, while students at <span class="caps">UNC</span> debate a $16 fee increase to renovate the bottom floor of the Student Union.</p>
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North Carolina State University is currently renovating the Talley Student Center after a year of strong student opposition, while students at UNC debate a $16 fee increase to renovate the bottom floor of the Student Union.

As UNC students decide whether to support a fee for a $10.5 million Union renovation, N.C. State students are faced with steeper fees to fund a $120 million student center overhaul.

After a year of facing strong opposition from students, N.C. State University’s renovation of its student center is finally happening.

Many administrators say the Talley Student Center, which many consider to be a Raleigh icon, needs to be expanded in order to support the growing student population. But students are unhappy with the increase in student fees that are funding the renovations.

Last fall students paid $83 and next fall students are expected to pay $102.

“It’s a cool building but I don’t think they should have increased our tuition to build it,” said Zach Thomas, a freshman at NCSU.

The student center was first built in 1972 and was designed to fit a population of 15,000 students.

Since then the university’s student population has grown to about 32,000.

The renovated student center is expected to have a bookstore, more dining facilities and more space for student government and other student organizations.

The proposed renovation of the bottom floor of UNC’s Student Union, which would cost each student $16 annually for 30 years, includes flexible meeting space, performance space, 24-hour use and a new dining option.

Tom Stafford, vice chancellor for student affairs at NCSU, said the opposition to NCSU’s renovations stems from a combination of a weakened economy and the student fee associated with the building costs.

“I like everything about this project. The current size of the center isn’t enough — we desperately need a lot more space,” Stafford said.

The student fee will increase in the next few years to help pay $120 million in building costs.

Kelly Hook, student body president at NCSU, said the increasing student fee has caused an outcry from students.

Students did not want to pay for a building that they would not be able to use, Hook said.

The entire process is expected to finish in late 2014.

The designers will be getting feedback from students throughout the renovation process.

Jack Colby, assistant vice chancellor for facilities operations, said the building will be renovated in two phases to make sure that students and faculty can make use of space during construction.

“Part of the project, in terms of moving people into temporary space will occur this spring,” Colby said.

The demolition will begin this summer and the first phase of construction will occur in the next 18 months.

Hook said despite the negative reaction from students, she is looking forward to the project.

“I want to give to future students. I want to be able to bring my kids here and show them that I was a part of the project,” Hook said.

Contact the State and National Editor at state@dailytarheel.com.

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