NCSSM rendering

This is one of the latest renderings of a portion of the western campus of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics that shows a renovated NCSD building.

It’s been a long time coming and much work has gone on to get to this point. Come June 21, the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics will break ground on its Morganton campus.

The groundbreaking will be at 2:30 p.m., according to information from the school.

In the meantime, the school continues to raise money to help fund the campus, which has a projected budget of $73 million, according to information from the state.

And NCSSM is currently looking for commissioning services for its new western campus, which will be approximately 211,000 square feet and will include both renovation of buildings currently located on the property as well as new construction, according to information from the UNC system. The closing date for the solicitation is Monday.

Information from the North Carolina Department of Administration says commissioning “is a quality assurance process that verifies and documents that building components and systems operate in accordance to the owner’s project requirements and the project design documents. The party responsible for the commissioning process is defined as the commissioning authority,” the information says.

Some of those components and systems include mechanical systems such as HVAC systems and equipment, automation systems, laboratory systems, electrical systems such as lighting and renewable energy systems, plumbing systems and irrigation systems, according to the state information.

Earlier this week, the school announced that data science will be weaved into areas of the general curriculum, according to a release from the school. Students will have the opportunity to apply their learning experiences working with data through partnerships with institutions and industries in the western part of the state, the release said.

“The demand for data-savvy professionals has never been greater, yet we lack a pipeline of young people who understand the art of using big data to make the best decisions,” Brooks Raiford, president & CEO of NC Tech Association, said in the release. “NCSSM’s new campus in Morganton puts North Carolina at the forefront of educating the next generation of local, state, and global leaders who are data-literate, no matter their field. This will help fill the pipeline with scientists, engineers, innovators, and entrepreneurs that will bring a competitive advantage to North Carolina.”

The announcement of the integration of data science into the new program has coincided with the latest installment in an ongoing series of events hosted around the state to engage the public and potential partners in conversation about the concept of data science and the way data is driving business, finance, renewable energy, technology and the future of education, the release said. NCSSM graduates have been among the experts, business leaders and entrepreneurs enlisted for panel discussions, and the public response to the series has shown a high level of public interest in the plans for the Morganton campus, the release from the school said. 

The conversation around the data science program development will continue w hen the next panel discussion in the series takes place in Hickory at Lenoir-Rhyne University on April 24 and will focus on the intersections of data science and health sciences, according to the release from the school.

The school is scheduled to open in 2021.

For more information about the development of NCSSM-Morganton, visit


Get today’s top stories right in your inbox. Sign up for our daily newsletter.