UNC Greensboro today announced early plans for two new projects that will serve as cornerstones for its long-term strategy to connect the campus and the community through its previously announced “Millennial Campus” initiative. This strategy activates the designation secured from the UNCG Board of Governors in 2017 to facilitate public-private partnerships that will bring new academic opportunities, community services, and economic development projects to UNCG’s campus.
The projects announced today include:
- The construction of a new community- and arts-focused facility near the corner of Tate St. and Gate City Blvd. that will provide a combination of performance space, gallery/exhibition space, and meeting/academic facilities. UNCG officials anticipate that faculty, students, and community partners will deliver a wide range of educational and cultural activities in this space. UNCG will also explore potential University-related retail opportunities. The estimated 10,000 sq. ft. building will begin construction in 2020. The space will also serve as a significant landmark signaling entrance into UNCG’s campus area, which the University hopes will help spark further aesthetic and safety-related improvements, in partnership with the City, along Gate City Blvd. Specific plans and designs are in initial phases of exploration. UNCG will work with the Capital Facilities Foundation to identify appropriate funding.
- The construction of a new building, most likely near the corner of Gate City Blvd. and Neal St., close to the existing Leonard J. Kaplan Center for Wellness, that will serve as a hub for technology- and health science-related academic, research, and community-related programs as well as University administrative functions. The estimated 100,000 sq. ft. building will house all degree levels of computer science, flexible health and human sciences research space, UNCG’s new Master’s in Informatics and Analytics program, an auditorium, and classrooms of various sizes. It will also provide a key point of integration for a wide range of ongoing joint community initiatives and new business partnerships to create a “Smart Corridor” and “Smart City” in Greensboro and across the region (including projects such as the recently announced Piedmont Regional Data Collective, the Forward Guilford Community Indicators Project, and other public-private technology partnerships). UNCG officials anticipate UNCG Information Technology Services will also be headquartered in the new space. Construction is likely to begin in 2021. Specific plans and designs are in the initial phases of exploration, and no specific funding decisions have been made at this time.
“Our announcement today is not simply about a couple of buildings. We are sparking the next stage in the transformation of UNCG to further support our students, deliver innovative academic opportunities, and better connect campus to the people and neighborhoods that surround it. This will happen over the course of years and through a great deal of conversation, collaboration, and partnership with our neighbors and stakeholders across the region,” said UNCG Chancellor Franklin D. Gilliam, Jr. “We like to think of our approach as a ‘campfire’ strategy – creating hot spots where we can focus our energy, resources, and time strategically, ultimately creating conditions that enable even more opportunities for UNCG and our community to benefit.”
These new projects build on the overall momentum and recent wave of growth at UNCG. In addition to recently reported record enrollment of almost 20,200, the University has received legislative support for an $84 million renovation and improvement of Jackson Library, a facility in the heart of campus that serves more than 1 million visitors a year (pending final Senate approval). UNCG is also scheduled to complete the $103 million Nursing and Instructional Building by spring of 2021. This building will house the University’s highly rated School of Nursing as well as science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) classrooms and labs.
UNCG will also begin construction on a new surface parking lot area adjacent to the proposed site of the technology building in the spring of 2020 in preparation for ongoing development and to relieve parking pressure in and around the Spartan Village and Glenwood areas.
Consistent with the overall “Millennial Campus” strategy, inviting partners to participate in the new facilities – in terms of presence in the community, programming development, and even financial investment – will be key. Gilliam added: “The types of partnerships we envision for these areas will bring a combination of academic, cultural, scientific, and community engagement value to UNCG and to Greensboro. We believe that by working thoughtfully with our partners, we can become a national model for how the ‘millennial campus’ designation can benefit a university as well as its hometown.”
Photography by Grant Evan Gilliard, University Communications