App State’s new track and field competition/practice area, located at the university’s Appalachian 105 property in Boone, is shown in this aerial photo taken Nov. 28, 2022. Click on the image for a full view. Photo by Wes Craig and Chase Reynolds
Appalachian 105 is one of several major projects underway at Appalachian State University to enhance the App State Experience.
The phased project supports the strategic plan of App State and the university’s goals and metrics associated with the University of North Carolina System’s strategic plan. The entire campus community will benefit, beginning with students and athletics.
Watauga County transferred ownership of the former Watauga High School property, located off Highway 105 in Boone, to App State on Sept. 29, 2017. The acquisition of this property, now called Appalachian 105, allows the university to make deliberate choices about growth and build an intentional community.
The property consists of 75 acres and was appraised at $16.7 million.
A portion of the property — the 34 acres that comprised the former high school's track, softball and outdoor tennis courts — has been subdivided with efforts focused on redesigning and upgrading this area to university-level, competition-grade venues for track, softball and tennis.
App State had been exploring other options for development, including student residence halls, a day care facility and student recreation fields. Three interactive listening sessions were held in January 2018, allowing campus and community members to share ideas for the property’s use.
App State continues exploring other options for development to meet the university’s needs for collaborative academic spaces, including event space, parking, residence halls and additional recreation accommodations for students.
A 180-degree view of the property. Video by Marie Freeman
In October 2018, the UNC Board of Governors approved App State’s requests to designate the Appalachian 105 property as having millennial campus status and to move forward with the conceptual design process. In March 2019, the UNC Board of Governors approved the authority to spend money for the competition and training facilities for the university’s track and field, tennis and softball programs.
The university requested April 29, 2019, that the Boone Town Council and Town of Boone Planning Commission rezone part of the Appalachian 105 property, from B3 to E1 — which means educational without residential. The project is being designed by CHA Consulting Inc., of Raleigh.
A phased construction of the project began in May 2021, when Barton Malow was awarded the contract to create the new competition track and field and address underground stormwater retention. The project began with demolition of the grandstand in June 2021 and the recycling of that metal. Construction of the track and field competition/practice area is nearly complete, with finishing touches to be applied in December 2022.
The university has reviewed designs for phase two of the project, which will include a team support building featuring locker rooms and public restrooms, the new softball facility, outdoor tennis courts and an access road. Construction work for the second phase is slated to begin in early spring 2023, with an anticipated completion date of July 2023. App State is in the process of securing a construction contractor for the phase two development.
Until the new tennis courts are complete, App State’s varsity tennis teams will use the Rivers Street courts. Those courts were resurfaced in fall 2019 and also serve academic tennis classes and University Recreation.
A third project phase could include the construction of indoor tennis courts.
This schematic design shows further planned developments for the Appalachian 105 property, including a new softball facility and outdoor tennis courts, as well as an access road. Image courtesy of CHA Consulting Inc.
How is it funded?
Competition and training facilities for the university’s track and field and a team support building with locker rooms and public restrooms are expected to cost $11.8 million. These will be funded by donations to Appalachian Athletics’ “A Mountaineer Impact: A Drive for Excellence” fundraising initiative. Funding for other development would need to be determined as plans for those possibilities progress.
Who will benefit?
The entire campus community eventually will benefit from this project. Since the property is being developed in phases, the first groups to benefit will be students and athletics.
How does it support UNC System Goals and Metrics?
An enhanced campus designed with students, faculty, staff and the public in mind supports recruitment and retention of all members of the university and local communities.
Major current projects:
- App State at Hickory Campus
- Innovation District
- Conservatory for Biodiversity Education and Research
- Appalachian 105
- Arts Corridor
- Holmes Parking Deck
- University Bookstore renovation
- Wey Hall Renovation
- Newland Hall Renovation
- Peacock Hall Addition and Renovation
- Edwin Duncan Hall Renovation
- Boone Creek Daylighting
Nearly completed major projects:
An aerial view of areas receiving millennial campus designation at Appalachian State University. Video by Marie Freeman