Balfour Beatty Joint Venture Celebrates the Grand Opening of North Carolina Central University’s $55.4 Million Student Center

by Balfour Beatty

June 20, 2022

DURHAM, NC – Balfour Beatty, in a joint venture with Holt Brothers and Structure Building Company, formally celebrated the grand opening of North Carolina Central University’s (NCCU) Student Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony on April 26, 2022, with Johnson O. Akinleye, Ph.D., Chancellor of NCCU, NCCU Board of Trustees and community partners.

The completion of the NCCU’s new $55 million student center facility is an integral step toward meeting the school’s current and future needs in alignment with many of its strategic priorities, including retention and graduation; enhancing academic distinction and distinctiveness; community engagement; and teaching, learning, and research.

Balfour Beatty and partners delivered a new 100,230-square-foot, fully functional student center that replaces the functions in the existing Alphonso Elder Student Union. The new facility features a large multi-purpose, flexible gathering space seating up to 1,100 for conferences and banquets, small- and medium-sized conference rooms, administrative offices for student union operations, and office space for student organizations. Additional facilities provide food services, public computer stations, and student convenience needs.

“Watching NCCU’s student center come to life has been a rewarding experience as we continue to broaden Balfour Beatty’s footprint on the University’s campus,” said Zach Hall, Balfour Beatty project executive in North Carolina. “It is an honor to be entrusted to achieve our client’s building goals in providing an educational learning space that will continue to nurture the bright minds of future leaders across our community and beyond. We are proud to deliver another state-of-the-art facility in working alongside our valued and long-standing partners, Holt Brothers and Structure Building Company that students, faculty, and visitors can now enjoy for generations to come.”

Balfour Beatty leveraged its proven six-step minority business plan to obtain 22 percent of NCCU’s historically underutilized business (HUB) subcontracting goal. The company worked with its long-standing partners Holt Brothers Construction and Structure Building Company, two minority-owned North Carolina companies, who share Balfour Beatty’s historical knowledge of the school’s campus, strong working relationships with the O’Brien Atkins, Duda-Paine, and MHTN Architects design team, and a community service mentality that aligns with NCCU’s mission. Additionally, the three contractors offer extensive higher education construction experience on projects previously completed for NCCU and universities throughout the state.

Walter Lennon served as the primary project manager for NCCU, while Joshua Frey served as the secondary project manager. For more information on NCCU please visit