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As the original Bluford Library, the Edward B. Fort Interdisciplinary Research Center served as the campus library from its opening in 1955 until 1991. After extensive renovation, the Interdisciplinary Research Center opened in 1993. It now houses research laboratories and offices of the Division of Research and Economic Development (DORED). In 1999 the building was named for Dr. Edward B. Fort, Chancellor Emeritus of N.C. A&T. He served as Chancellor from 1981 to 1999.

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The building plan is organized around a central atrium space with a monumental staircase extending from the first floor to the fourth floor reception area with a large central skylight. The atrium is dominated by the multi-story “research helix” – a mobile featuring the logos of many of the university’s major research funders. The design of the building focuses on creating architectural spaces that foster collaboration and encourage interaction among the various occupants of the center. A highlight of the building is The Faces of Science, a four-part mural at the top of the atrium on the fourth floor. It depicts 46 leading African-American inventors and scientists. Among the research centers in the building are the National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center for Revolutionizing Metallic Biomaterials, the Center for Aviation Research, the Center for Advanced Studies in Identity Sciences, and the Center for Composite Materials Research.

The DORED offices are on the third and fourth floors. The third floor houses the offices of contracts and grants, financial compliance, research services and project management, and facilities. On the fourth floor are two conference rooms, the office of the vice chancellor and other administrators, and the offices of economic development, sponsored programs, research compliance and ethics, undergraduate research, and research communications.


The IRC is located on East Market Street, separated from the street by a parking lot, with the College of Engineering buildings (McNair, Cherry and Graham) on the left side as you face the campus on East Market Street and Gibbs and Hines halls on the right.

Visitor parking is available in the Laurel Street Parking Deck, behind Bluford Library on the right side of Laurel Street as you enter the campus on Laurel from East Market Street.

Handicapped parking for the IRC is located in the Alma Morrow Drive parking lot next to the IRC to the west, which is accessible from Nocho Street. To use a handicapped space, visitors need a permit from the Parking Services office at the Laurel Street Parking Deck.

Note: No right turns are allowed onto Nocho Street from East Market; from East Market, turn right on Dudley Street and right on University Circle to go around the block.

An accessible entrance is at the front of the building, easily accessible from the handicapped parking spaces.

The loading dock is at the back of the building, accessible from the Alma Morrow Drive parking lot off Nocho Street.