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Appalachian will seek UNC Board of Governors approval to expand its millennial campus

BOONE—Since 2002, a portion of Appalachian State University’s campus has been designated as a millennial campus – a 2.3 acre tract of land where University Hall is located off Blowing Rock Road.

Appalachian’s Board of Trustees will soon request that the UNC Board of Governors approve additional property along University Hall Drive where the Human Resources building is located, an undeveloped tract of land along University Hall Drive, the Donald C. Beaver College of Health Sciences site near Watauga Medical Center and the N.C. Center for Engineering Technologies in Hickory.

The North Carolina General Assembly authorized the UNC 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.

Millennial campus designation is important, according to Chancellor Sheri N. Everts. “This really provides us with opportunities to continue to develop the mission associated with these properties,” she said. Those missions include training public health professionals to serve the region and state, research and public health outreach, as well as applied engineering research and educational outreach.

In addition, 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, which is critical toward further developing the property, according to Dayton Cole, general counsel for the university.

A portion of University Hall currently is leased to Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center for its Boone-based physician assistant program. That program will move to the Beaver College of Health Sciences once that building is constructed.

University Hall also houses the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina Institute for Health and Human Services, the Division of Educational Outreach and Summer Programs and the Charles E. and Geneva S. Scott Scottish Rite Communication Disorders Clinic.

The North Carolina Center for Engineering Technologies located in Hickory provides facilities for applied research in engineering related fields and serves as a conduit to baccalaureate education delivered by the University of North Carolina system schools. The center also offers STEM-focused activities for children in area public schools.

In addition to Appalachian, schools involved in the center are Western Carolina University, UNC Charlotte, Catawba Valley Community College, Caldwell County Community College and Technical Institute and Western Piedmont Community College.

Companies that have been served by the center include Caterpillar, CommScope, Corning Cable Systems, Lowes Home Centers and Penske Racing.

The Board of Trustees approved plans to seek millennial campus designation for the former Broyhill Events Center in March. A portion of the building currently houses a small brewery associated with the university’s fermentation sciences program.

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