A ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for App State's Randy Marion Track and Field Facility — shown in this aerial photo taken March 20, 2023 — took place April 28, 2023. 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 App State’s strategic priorities, as well as 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.
Read a summary of themes and ideas
View the property on Google Maps
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. A final inspection of the track and field competition/practice area took place the week of March 13–17, 2023, and a ribbon-cutting and dedication ceremony for the new Randy Marion Track and Field Facility was held April 28, 2023.
Phase two of the project will include a team support building featuring locker rooms and public restrooms, the new softball facility, outdoor tennis courts and an access road. App State has secured Greene Construction of Boone as the contractor for the phase two development, and construction work for the team support building and tennis courts began in May 2023.
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 and women’s softball facilities.
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 are being funded by donations to App State Athletics’ A Mountaineer Impact: A Drive for Excellence fundraising initiative.
The new track and field facility is named in honor of Randy Marion, owner of Randy Marion Automotive Group, and his family. Marion provided the lead gift for the facility through App State’s A Mountaineer Impact initiative, and his son, Randy Marion Jr., is an App State track and field alumnus.
At its March 24, 2023, meeting, App State’s Board of Trustees authorized an additional $4 million for the Appalachian 105 project, which was approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors at its April 2023 meeting. This brings the total funding for the project to nearly $15.8 million to date. These additional funds will support the completion of outdoor tennis and softball facilities as part of the project’s second development phase.
In February 2023, the UNC Board of Governors authorized $10 million in funding for the project’s third phase developments, to be secured through a debt service fee for the facilities as well as donations and gifts to App State Athletics.
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 Hickory Campus
- Innovation District
- Conservatory for Biodiversity Education and Research
- Holmes Parking Deck
- Peacock Hall Addition and Renovation
- Wey Hall Renovation
- Edwin Duncan Hall Renovation
- Appalachian 105
- Newland Hall Renovation
- Dining Facilities Renovations — Roess Dining Hall and Trivette Hall
- University Bookstore Renovation
- Arts Corridor
- Boone Creek Daylighting
An aerial view of areas receiving millennial campus designation at Appalachian State University. Video by Marie Freeman