The front entrance of the Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences. Click on the image for a full view. Photo by Marie Freeman
Leon Levine Hall of Health Sciences 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. It benefits students, academics and the community.
This is the largest capital project to date in Appalachian’s history and the first completed project as part of the $2 billion Connect NC Bond referendum approved by voters in March 2016. It is located at 1179 State Farm Road, across from Watauga Medical Center.
A ribbon-cutting took place Sept. 21, 2018. Five of the six departments in the Beaver College of Health Sciences are housed in Levine Hall: Communication Sciences and Disorders, Health and Exercise Science, Nursing, Nutrition and Health Care Management and Social Work. The Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education remains in Holmes Convocation Center.
In early 2019, new collaborations and clinical services for rural Western North Carolina opened to the public in Levine Hall through the Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS) Interprofessional Clinic, part of Appalachian’s Blue Cross NC Institute for Health and Human Services (IHHS). The student-operated training clinic provides clinical space, scheduling, billing and electronic health record support to a number of affiliated clinics, including Appalachian’s Charles E. and Geneva S. Scott Scottish Rite Communication Disorders Clinic, Music Therapy and Psychology clinics, some of which continue to operate in University Hall. The Wake Forest PA program also began its classes in the new building in January.
In November 2019, the facility won a 2019 Building North Carolina Award in the Public Project category based on design, innovation and impact on the community.
How is it funded?
Connect NC Bond project, plus a $5 million commitment from The Leon Levine Foundation for the building and furnishings.
Who will benefit?
Appalachian’s nearly 3,500 students in the Beaver College of Health Sciences, who can study in a state-of-the-art facility that enhances collaborative efforts across the disciplines and fosters a patient-centered practice model; and citizens of the region — many in rural areas — who will be served by clinical services in the building provided by the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina IHHS Interprofessional Health Clinic and by Appalachian’s well-prepared graduates working in their communities.
How does it support UNC System Goals and Metrics?
Appalachian can produce more graduates in the health sciences, one of the identified critical workforce areas for North Carolina.
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