Construction progress for the second development phase of App State’s Appalachian 105 project is shown in this aerial image, taken Oct. 26, 2023. Phase 2 includes the construction of a team support building, a new softball facility and outdoor tennis courts. Click on the image for a full view. Photo by Wes Craig
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.
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 includes a team support building featuring locker rooms and public restrooms, a 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. Construction of the softball facility began in fall 2023.
The most recent work for these components includes land grading for the softball facility, the installation of net post foundations as well as sub-base preparation work for the outdoor tennis courts, and the application of roof trusses and interior wall framing for the team support building. App State expects to complete the project’s second phase in summer 2024.
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 will include the construction of a facility with indoor tennis courts.
This artist’s rendering provides an aerial view of the components planned for the phased development of App State’s Appalachian 105 property, including a team support building, a new softball facility, outdoor tennis courts and an indoor tennis facility. The new track and field competition/practice area, shown in the top left corner of the rendering, was completed in March 2023. Image courtesy of CHA Consulting Inc.
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?
To date, the App State Board of Trustees and the University of North Carolina Board of Governors have authorized nearly $15.8 million in funding for Phases 1 and 2 of the Appalachian 105 project. This funding is supported by private donations and gifts made to the university, including those made as part of App State Athletics’ A Mountaineer Impact: A Drive for Excellence fundraising initiative, as well as revenue generated through App State Athletics.
At its February 2023 meeting, the Board of Governors granted approval for App State to move forward with the project’s third phase of development — the construction of an indoor tennis courts facility. In September 2023, App State received the board’s authorization to issue special obligation bonds for up to $10 million to fund this development phase, to be repaid via debt service fees and donations and gifts to the university.
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:
Major completed projects:
- Dining Facilities Renovations — Roess Dining Hall and Trivette Hall
- University Bookstore Renovation
- Residence Halls
- Child Development Center Expansion
- Kidd Brewer Stadium — North End Zone
- Career Development Center relocation
- Sanford Hall Renovation
- Blue Ridge Way
- NPHC Plots and Garden
- Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences
- Founders Plaza
An aerial view of areas receiving millennial campus designation at Appalachian State University. Video by Marie Freeman