The arts corridor is intended to more visibly link Appalachian’s arts-related venues across campus. It starts behind Wey Hall and the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts as a way to improve traffic flow and will eventually end at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, pictured in foreground. Click on the image for a full view. Photo by Marie Freeman
The arts corridor is one of several major construction projects underway or being planned over the next three to five years at Appalachian State University to enhance the Appalachian Experience.
The project supports the strategic plan of Appalachian and the university’s goals and metrics associated with the University of North Carolina System’s strategic plan. It will benefit students, athletics and the community.
This corridor will unite the two halves of Appalachian’s campus, as referenced in the Master Plan 2025 (page 41), while connecting the arts, transportation and university events.
The first portion of the arts corridor, Blue Ridge Way, was completed in time for the Aug. 31, 2019, football game. It connects the Stadium Parking Deck adjacent to Frank and Belk residence halls to the Schaefer Center for the Performing Arts and Wey Hall, which houses the Department of Art. The rest of the arts corridor would more visibly link the Schaefer Center, Wey Hall and the Broyhill Music Center — all located to the south of Rivers Street — with the university’s other key arts facilities north of Rivers Street: Chapell Wilson Hall, which houses the Department of Theatre and Dance; Valborg Theatre; and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.
The first portion of the arts corridor, Blue Ridge Way, was completed in August 2019. The next phase begins this summer, when the university plans to have nationally known artists paint a mural on the campus staircase leading to the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA), which is located on the King Street end of the arts corridor.
How is it funded?
The university used Transportation and Parking Reserves funds in 2019 to design and complete the first section of the arts corridor, called Blue Ridge Way, since this section improves emergency access and serves as an additional vehicle exit during campus events with large attendance. No official planning funds have been invested in the remainder of the arts corridor. The mural at the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts (TCVA) will be funded by the TCVA with funds raised through contributions.
Who will benefit?
All members of the campus and local communities benefit. Eventually, those walking through campus will have a more clearly marked route, which also would guide them to various arts facilities, including the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and the gateway to King Street in downtown Boone.
How does it support UNC System Goals and Metrics?
The safety, health, wellness and enjoyment of all members of the Appalachian Community, including visitors, are of utmost concern to the university, as each makes possible personal, academic and institutional success.
Major current projects:
- Conservatory for Biodiversity Education and Research
- Appalachian 105
- Residence halls
- Kidd Brewer Stadium — North End Zone
- Child Development Center Expansion
- Sanford Hall
- Arts Corridor
- Wey Hall
- Boone Creek Daylighting
Capital projects at Appalachian continue, as Gov. Roy Cooper’s March 27, 2020, stay-at-home order considers construction, specifically for housing and on government property, as an essential business activity. For employee safety, contractors are taking protective measures against the coronavirus.
Construction at App State continues because:
• Discontinuing projects would severely impact project costs to the state, requiring more money to re-start an abandoned project and increasing the risk of material delays and some subcontractors going out of business.
• The new residence halls being built under a public-private partnership constitute a ground lease, whereby a private developer has created a timeline and is managing the construction privately. The financial feasibility of the project is based on a specific timeline tied to the academic year.
• In other construction on campus, bond money was approved by Appalachian’s Board of Trustees and the Board of Governors of the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian has a fiduciary responsibility to execute construction in the shortest time possible. And, much like a homeowner building a new home with a construction loan, the university is already making payments on the project.
An aerial view of areas receiving millennial campus designation at Appalachian State University. Video by Marie Freeman