This artist’s rendering, offering a vantage point from Hill Street, shows what the completed Holmes Parking Deck might look like. This image is for discussion purposes only; it does not reflect the deck's finalized design. Click on the image for a full view. Graphic provided by New Atlantic and Little Diversified Architectural Consulting
The Holmes Parking Deck is one of several major construction projects underway at Appalachian State University to enhance the App State Experience.
The project supports App State’s strategic priorities, as well as the university’s goals and metrics associated with the University of North Carolina System’s strategic plan. It will benefit faculty, staff, students, alumni, campus visitors, athletics and the local community.
This project will provide approximately 600 on-campus parking spaces through the construction of a new, five- to six-level parking deck next to App State’s Holmes Convocation Center. The primary use for the new deck will be for faculty, staff and student parking, with event parking as needed. App State university has the flexibility to offer visitor parking in select lots as needed upon demand. The additional parking will also support events at the Holmes Center as well as the 30,000-seat Kidd Brewer multipurpose stadium that is about a half-mile away.
A preliminary design concept positions the deck in the area where the current 110-space Holmes surface parking lot exists, adjacent to the building’s Northwest and Southwest entrances. One of the planned features of the project is an enclosed pedestrian bridge that will connect the parking deck and the Holmes Convocation Center, allowing for convenient access to the center.
At 200,840 square feet, which includes 48,830 square feet of academic space, the Holmes Convocation Center is a multipurpose facility that hosts varsity sports and major campus events, including commencement, guest speaker series and the STEAM Expo. The center also houses the Beaver College of Health Sciences’ Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education. The venue, which opened in fall 2000, can seat between 8,500 and 9,313 individuals, depending on the seating configuration used.
During the height of the pandemic, the center served as the site of numerous App State COVID-19 vaccine clinics, with 680 students, faculty, staff and community members receiving the vaccine during the first clinic in March 2021.
The facility is named in honor of alumnus George M. Holmes ’54 (1929–2009), who attended the university when it was known as Appalachian State Teachers College. While serving as a state representative, Holmes was a staunch advocate for App State and helped secure the additional funding needed to build the convocation center.
The long-envisioned Holmes Parking Deck project has been included in App State’s master planning since 2016 (Master Plan 2025, page 71).
Learn more about the history of App State’s Holmes Convocation Center.
This artist’s rendering, offering a vantage point from Hill Street, shows what the completed Holmes Parking Deck might look like. This image does not reflect the deck's finalized design. Graphic provided by New Atlantic and Little Diversified Architectural Consulting
This conceptual rendering, created by architecture firm Lord Aeck Sargent, shows the proposed location of the Holmes Parking Deck — adjacent to the Holmes Convocation Center’s Northwest and Southwest entrances, in the area where the building’s current surface parking lot exists. Graphic provided by Lord Aeck Sargent
In March 2022, App State’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved a motion to build the Holmes Parking Deck. The project received approval from the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors at the board’s May 26, 2022, meeting.
Planning and design for the project began in spring 2022 and concluded in spring 2023. Architecture firm Lord Aeck Sargent performed a conceptual design study for the project, which was completed in June 2022.
App State selected New Atlantic and Little Diversified Architectural Consulting to design and build the deck, breaking ground on the project the week of June 12, 2023. Construction continues on schedule, with the most recent work including the installation of precast concrete structures for the deck’s walls, which began in late October 2023.
Holmes Parking Deck is anticipated to open for the fall 2024 semester.
How is it funded?
On June 29, 2022, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper signed bipartisan House Bill 1068 into law, allowing App State to issue special obligation bonds for up to $20 million to fund construction of the Holmes Parking Deck.
The university will use parking revenues to repay the bonds.
Who will benefit?
The parking deck will support daily campus parking as well as parking for athletics and other university events, which attract hundreds to thousands of visitors to campus. The entire App State Community, including students, faculty and staff, along with alumni, campus guests and community members, will benefit from this project.
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