A fall 2019 aerial view of Founders Plaza, with statues of two of Appalachian’s co-founders, B.B. Dougherty and Lillie Shull Dougherty, and Founders Bell Pavilion. Click on the image for a full view. Photo by Marie Freeman
Founders Plaza was one of several major construction projects completed recently 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.
As a tribute to Appalachian’s founders, B.B. and D.D. Dougherty and Lillie Shull Dougherty, a new plaza was constructed in the Appalachian sign area off Hardin Street. Founders Plaza, dedicated Sept. 5, 2018, provides a larger, more iconic setting for the Appalachian sign and a new outdoor space for studying, small gatherings and scheduled campus events. The university’s sculpture of B.B. Dougherty was placed prominently in the new plaza.
This $350,000 project fits into the Master Plan 2025’s description of a new campus gateway. (page 59)
Chancellor Sheri Everts speaks to the crowd during the second annual Founders Day Ceremony Sept. 5, 2019. To Everts’ left is the new statue of Lillie Shull Dougherty. Visible behind the crowd is Founders Bell Pavilion. Photo by Marie Freeman
A dedication and luncheon was held Sept. 5, 2018 — the date of a new tradition, Founders Day, to be celebrated each fall to honor Appalachian’s founders and the first day of classes in 1899.
At Founders Day 2019, the university dedicated two additions to the plaza: a commemorative statue of Lillie Shull Dougherty and Founders Bell Pavilion, an architectural reproduction of the roof line and bell steeple of Watauga Academy, the school that evolved into Appalachian State University. The pavilion houses one of Appalachian’s historic bells.
How is it funded?
With a portion of the university’s FY18 State Repair and Renovations (R&R) allocation.
Who will benefit?
The entire campus and local community. Traditionally a popular spot for students, their families and alumni to take pictures, this area now pays greater tribute to Appalachian’s founders and its 120-year history.
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:
- 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