BOONE — Appalachian State is on schedule to complete major campus projects in the coming months including the third new residence hall on the west side of campus.
The Appalachian State Board of Trustees met on Feb. 12 for a brief meeting with no votes taking place.
The Business Affairs Committee was provided with a capital projects update from university officials. Currently, $209,389,002 worth of projects are happening at the university.
The major campus project — the $191 million P3 campus renovation project to replace seven residence halls — is on schedule with the latest hall set to finish on July 30. Laurel Creek Hall, which started construction on Feb. 13, 2020, has the wood framing complete and 15 percent of the masonry work complete. On the inside, the interior rough-ins are close to completion and gypsum wall board and concrete floor toppings are being installed.
Building 400 — or New River Hall — is on schedule to finish by July 30, 2022. The building, which parallels Rivers Street and Stadium Drive, is nearing completion of the rough grading and storm sewer installation, and the pouring of footings is underway.
The Sanford Hall renovation project is behind by approximately two weeks due to COVID-19 with a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for March 26. It was reported to the Business Affairs Committee that the elevator inspection will be completed along with installation of site lighting, landscaping and complete furniture installation and A/V over the next four weeks.
The Career Development Center is expanding its space in the Plemmons Student Union. The project, with a $1,953,533 budget, is an attempt to make the center more centralized and accessible for students. Areas undergoing demolition to expand the center include the Profile Trail Lounge, Whitewater, the Peel, the Peer Career area and one side of McAlister’s Deli.
Interior framing, electrical rough-in and HVAC rough-in work is currently underway with the space ready for furnishings and equipment by June 2021. The current Career Development Center is in the John E. Thomas Building on Rivers Street.
More about current projects at the university can be found at pdc.appstate.edu/projects.
The Academic Affairs Committee also heard an admissions update from university officials. Fall 2020 saw 20,023 students enrolled at the university with 18 percent of the student population racially or ethnically diverse. The university is also currently seeing a 3.6 percent increase in spring enrollment compared to spring 2020.
The Appalachian Board of Trustees will next meet on March 26.
Chancellor Sheri Everts expects fall 2021 to look like Fall 2012 with faculty, staff and students largely back on campus for in-person class as long as vaccine distribution goes well. Everts made the announcement at the annual spring staff and faculty meeting on Feb. 5 held virtually due to COVID-19.
Appalachian State University Chancellor Sheri Everts expects the fall 2021 semester to look like fall 2019 semester with faculty, staff and students largely back on campus for in-person class as long as vaccine distribution goes well. The fall 2019 semester was the last full semester Appalachian State students had classes in person and the majority of campus operations normal.
Everts made the announcement at the annual spring staff and faculty meeting on Feb. 5 held virtually due to COVID-19.
The university has not had full in-person classes since March 2020. Everts also said she is hopeful of salary increases at the state level, but she noted that the university is in a very different place than it was a year ago.
“Some of our staff are under furlough, although we have worked to reassign as many as possible, and we will continue to do so in order to avoid additional furloughs,” Everts said. “Many of the reassigned staff have contributed to the university’s COVID-19 response – assisting with testing, providing quarantine support and cleaning – and I know you all join me in thanking them for this important work.”
The university is following financial and operational guidance provided by University of North Carolina system President Peter Hans, which calls for limiting non-essential spending. Everts said the university has developed a bridge strategic plan to help guide it through “this time of financial and social uncertainty, and provide guidelines for the university’s next five-year strategic plan.” The plan will be presented to the board of trustees in March.”
“As we move forward into what we all hope are more ‘normal’ times, your ideas and contributions will continue to be central to our decision-making processes” Everts said. “Thank you, again, for your continued commitment to the success of our students and our university.”