NC State

Why construction of NCSU’s $15 million dorm for basketball players has been delayed

Construction of Case Commons Residence Hall, shown here in a rendition, is now expected to be completed in 2019.
Construction of Case Commons Residence Hall, shown here in a rendition, is now expected to be completed in 2019. Courtesy of NC State

The $15 million “boutique” dormitory N.C. State plans to build for its men’s and women’s basketball teams will be pushed back a year.

The school wants to give Kevin Keatts, the new men’s coach, and his staff the opportunity to provide input, according to Fred Demarest, N.C. State associate athletic director.

Construction on Case Commons Residence Hall, a 65-bed, four-floor facility, was supposed to start in the spring and be completed by 2018. It is now expected to be finished by the summer of 2019.

The dorm will house 15 men’s basketball players, 15 women’s basketball players and 35 other students, including a resident director and resident assistants. The dorm could help the school with basketball recruiting.

Since 1996, NCAA rules have specified that residence halls have to be occupied by at least 51 percent non-athletes to avoid offering special perks that are not available to other students.

The dorm will be between Reynolds Coliseum and the coliseum’s parking deck. It is expected to have a theater room, a lounge and an outdoor courtyard with a basketball goal.

Other universities have put up similar high-end facilities geared toward athletes. The University of Kansas built a 38-student apartment complex for men’s basketball scholarship players and other students in 2014. The building includes media rooms, a half-court basketball court, a lounge and a barbershop.

The University of Kentucky built an $8 million dorm, Wildcat Coal Lodge, in 2012. It houses 32 male students, including the men’s basketball team, and has personal chefs, a game room and a dining hall.

The proposal for Case Commons created controversy in 2015 for its high costs compared to other dorms on N.C. State’s campus. Critics were concerned about the cost per bed, which is roughly $230,000. The average cost per bed at other campus residence halls is about $50,000 to $70,000.

N.C. State chancellor Randy Woodson said in 2015 that the building’s expense was due to the size and scope of the project and related utilities. He also said the cost for students living in the dorm will be at or below the average cost of other residence halls on campus.

The N.C. General Assembly approved the authorization to build the dorm in July 2016.

The building will be financed through money raised by the Wolfpack Club.

Demarest said the fundraising is “ongoing.”

Keatts was hired in March to replace Mark Gottfried, who was fired after a second straight losing season.

Jonathan M. Alexander: 919-829-4822, @jonmalexander

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