BOONE — Appalachian State University is seeking a designation of 288 acres on its main campus and other areas as Millennial Campus, which allows the university to seek public-private partnerships for development.
The Appalachian State Board of Trustees unanimously approved the proposal at its March 27 meeting, which was held via a phone conference call. The designation request will go before the UNC system Board of Governors for approval.
The areas include the Mountaineer Hall and Appalachian Heights dorms on the west side of campus; Summit, Appalachian, Cone, East, Lovill, Cannon, Hoey, White and Doughton residence halls on the east side of campus; east campus surface parking lots; the Schaefer Center for the Preforming Arts; Peacock Hall, Edwin Duncan, Chapel Wilson, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, Belk Library parking deck and surface parking lots; Garwood Hall parking lot and Rivers Street parking deck; the Roess Dining Hall and steam plant; the Holmes Convention Center and surface parking lots; McKinney Alumni Center; New River Light and Power properties on Winklers Creek Road, Longvue Drive, U.S. 321 and Payne Branch Road; and the State Farm property, which includes the physical plant, motor pool, a surface parking lot and recreational fields and green space.
Materials from the March 27 meeting indicate that the Millennial Campus designation could potentially help facilitate and streamline the construction of parking decks, the revitalization of Peacock Hall, the daylighting of Boone Creek, solar projects and construction of housing, dining, parking, utility and arts and event facilities.
The N.C. General Assembly authorizes the UNC system Board of Governors to designate real property held by, or to be acquired by, a constituent institution as a Millennial Campus of that institution through the Millennial Campus Act enacted in 2000.
The designation gives the university the flexibility to enter into agreements with private sector firms to develop the properties, facilitates issuing bonds to finance development of the properties and allows the university to keep all revenues related to leasing space in the properties to a third party.
For university areas to be designated as millennial campuses, there must be findings that creation of the campus “will enhance the institution’s research, teaching and service missions” and “the economic development of the region served by the institution.”
Appalachian State’s existing Millennial Campus areas include the 2.3-acre University Hall property located off of Blowing Rock Road; the former Broyhill Inn property and surrounding area; the College of Health Sciences building near Watauga Medical Center; an 87.96-acre area that includes much of the west campus, including Kidd Brewer Stadium and eight residence halls within the boundaries of Stadium Drive, Rivers Street and Bodenheimer Drive; the old Watauga High School property; the Legends site; Howard Street property; and Appalachian Panhellenic residence hall.