North Carolina State University
Harrelson Hall will be torn down this summer.

Much-derided classroom building heads for demolition at North Carolina State University

May 17, 2016
Many students and staff remember the circle-shaped Harrelson Hall for its shortcomings.

North Carolina State University is ready to tear down a longtime classroom building, and it sounds like it won't be missed by the thousands of students who had classes inside.

Harrelson Hall, a 109,000-square-foot circular facility, opened in 1961 on the Raleigh campus and was disliked by many, The Raleigh News & Observer reports.

It was the most-used academic building in the UNC system for decades—about 85 percent of N.C. State students at some point attended a class in Harrelson.

It could accommodate up to 4,500 students in 88 circular and windowless classrooms, but over time, the building became known for its shortcomings: uncomfortable seating, a loud heating and cooling system, and a lack of natural light.

A 2008 newsletter from the university's philosophy and religion department, which once was housed in Harrelson Hall, described the building as an "architectural atrocity."

University officials decided to tear down the building because it would be too expensive to renovate. And they decided it would be better to have a more traditionally shaped structure for learning.

The building is being stripped to its concrete and steel frame. A hydraulic crusher will tear out pieces of the building in June, and crews will raze the remaining parts by mid-August.

The space that Harrelson has occupied will be used as green space until the science department raises funds to build a new facility.

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