An artist's rendering displaying the planned addition for Peacock Hall, home to App State's Walker College of Business. Note, the project’s final design is still in development. Graphic courtesy of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
Peacock Hall’s addition/renovation is one of several major planned construction projects 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 students, faculty, staff and academics.
This project includes both an addition to and a partial renovation of Kenneth E. Peacock Hall, home to the students, faculty and staff of App State’s Walker College of Business (WCOB). The project is expected to extend the life of the building by 30–50 years.
Built in 1990, the 130,000-square-foot, four-story Peacock Hall is due for a systematic renovation to replace elevators, HVAC/controls and chillers, as well as the tiered, lecture-style classrooms that make up 80% of Peacock Hall’s classrooms. The classrooms’ fixed seating — ideal in the 90’s, when students passively listened to lectures — now hinders daily reconfigurations of classroom furniture that allow students to form smaller, more agile project teams.
Proposed facilities under discussion for the building’s new addition include:
- Common areas.
- A learning lab.
- Special use areas for campus events.
- Mechanical infrastructure space.
- Student service offices.
The vision for the learning lab space includes features such as a real-time stock market ticker and Bloomberg terminals that offer financial analysis software — providing students with cutting-edge academic experiences.
A planned bridge between the existing building and the addition will connect the first and second floors. The scope of renovations for Peacock Hall will be determined following the completion of the building’s addition.
This project will support planning for the greater district goal of opening Boone Creek and replacing surface parking with a new parking structure, along with a redesign of traffic flow for buses.
Walker College is accredited by AACSB International — the premier global accrediting body for schools of business — and offers 10 undergraduate majors and three master’s degree programs, including its nationally and internationally recognized Master of Business Administration (MBA) program.
Peacock Hall also houses several units that support students campuswide and in which faculty and staff engage in multidisciplinary research that benefits both campus and the local community. These include the Transportation Insight Center for Entrepreneurship, Center for Economic Research and Policy Analysis and Brantley Risk and Insurance Center.
The building is named in honor of App State’s seventh leader, Kenneth E. Peacock, who was a professor in the college before serving as chancellor of the university from 2004–14.
This architectural site plan shows the position of the addition that is planned for App State’s Peacock Hall. Graphic courtesy of McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture
A conceptual design study for the building’s addition was completed by architecture firm LS3P Associates in November 2019 and has been reviewed by university leadership.
App State has selected McMillan Pazdan Smith Architecture, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, as the designer for the project, and Vannoy Construction, located in Jefferson, North Carolina, will serve as the project’s construction manager.
The design for the addition may take approximately one year to create, with an anticipated completion date of fall 2023. Construction for the building’s renovation is slated to begin in summer 2023 and conclude in summer 2026.
How is it funded?
App State received $25 million in legislative funding support for the Peacock Hall project as part of the FY 2021–22 biennial budget bill, signed into law by Gov. Roy Cooper on Nov. 18, 2021. The bill also includes $200,000 for upgrades to Peacock Hall’s existing elevators.
A learning lab, to be constructed as part of the Peacock Hall addition, will be funded in part by a $1.3 million gift that App State alumnus Dennis Covington ’92 and his wife, Katherine Covington, made to App State in support of academic resources for Walker College and facilities for App State Athletics.
Who will benefit?
The college’s faculty, staff and more than 3,000 students will benefit from the additional classroom, lab and office space provided through the Peacock Hall addition/renovation project.
Additionally, the project stands to benefit the recruiters and high-profile business leaders that Walker College routinely hosts — such as Pamela Mars Wright, former chair and director of the board that governs the $40 billion Mars Inc., who delivered the 63rd Harlan E. Boyles Distinguished Lecture at App State in March 2022.
How does it support UNC System Goals and Metrics?
Providing the best environment for teaching and learning can impact recruitment and retention of students, faculty and staff.
Major current projects:
- App State Hickory Campus
- Innovation District
- Conservatory for Biodiversity Education and Research
- Appalachian 105
- Arts Corridor
- Dining Facilities Renovations — Roess Dining Hall and Trivette Hall
- Holmes Parking Deck
- Wey Hall Renovation
- University Bookstore renovation
- Newland Hall Renovation
- Peacock Hall Addition and Renovation
- Edwin Duncan Hall Renovation
- Boone Creek Daylighting
Nearly completed major projects:
An aerial view of areas receiving millennial campus designation at Appalachian State University. Video by Marie Freeman