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ASU Holds Workshop With Public, Community Leaders Regarding Draft of Master Plan 2025

Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz takes a look at some of the schematics presented during the Master Plan 2025 meetings. Photos by Jesse Wood

By Jesse Wood

Appalachian State University and Duda Paine Architects held a two-day workshop, including an open-door charrette on Thursday, with community leaders and the public to review draft designs of the university’s Master Plan 2025.

“The master plan is a big picture to try to cast a vision for 2025 and beyond of what the institution might look like,” said Jeffrey Paine, a founding partner of Duda Paine Architects.

On Friday, staff from Duda Paine Architects gave an overview of the preliminary plans brought to the table by the master plan committee and the architecture firm. Duda Paine staff had spent Thursday evening incorporating that feedback into new schematics and showcased the new proposals on Friday.

Officials from Watauga County and the Town of Boone were present including Watauga County Planning Director Joe Furman, Watauga County Manager Deron Geouque, Watauga Commissioner Jimmy Hodges and Boone Town Manager John Ward and Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz – to name a few seen on Friday.

The schemes were put into the five following groups (see maps, diagrams below):

  • Main Campus Gateway
  • Arts and Entertainment Promenade/Peacock Lot
  • River Walk and Rivers Street
  • Stadium Lot
  • Broyhill Innovation Campus/Legends Site

Duda Paine Architects staff noted that the Blowing Rock Road entrance is considered the main campus gateway, and Durham Park is a “sacred open space” at this entrance, where a wonderful view of the mountains and first impression greets visitors.

Constraints identified in the plan were broken into two groups: natural and built. Natural constraints included the creeks and topography of the land. Built constraints included neighborhoods, boundaries, sacred spaces and functional buildings, the later otherwise described as “buildings in … little or no repair and … likely not be demolished.”

Click to the entire slide presented on Thursday and Friday to see maps of buildings on ASU that are slated for demolition or renovation and those that fall under the functional or sacred category.

With that said, Paine envisioned shifting the main entrance to arrive near where East Hall and creating a loop near Sanford Mall and Plemmons Student Union. Here a building would exist that offered most of the services new students or visitors would need. Sanford Mall was described as the heart and soul of the App State campus and needed to be showcased to new visitors upon arrival as opposed to immediately shuttling folks from the JET Building to the parking deck and vice versa. But he received a bit of push-back regarding shifting the entrance during the Thursday workshops.

“You’ve been here 20 years. We’ve been here about two or three years in different scenarios, but we’ve also experienced other campuses and hopefully can bring fresh ideas,” Paine said

Daylighting Boone Creek and adding two bike lanes, two sidewalks and a greenway path were included in the schemes for the Rivers Street area. Paine noted that he didn’t recive a single negative comment about daylighting the creek.

On the Stadium Lot area, a Duda Paine associate noted that the “large sea of asphalt” featured 495 parking spaces and noted that no tailgating spots would be removed within the 2025 plan. Two of the schemes took away too much parking/tailgating room and were removed. A parking deck with a connecting ramp to Greenwood Lot made the cut. The replacement of Duck Pond field with another green space in the area was discussed.

“To add more parking spaces, to add green space and still retain tailgating spots [proved to be] a little bit of a challenge,” the associate said, adding that a flexible green space might be an option here. A mixed-use building for retail associated with football games/athletics are in the plans.

In the Legends area plans, the future acquisition of Phil’s Citgo was recommended. A 480-space parking deck was listed in the plans. A mixed-use building (floor retail, housing, hotel) was also part of that development. The future Legends operations would be seen as an extension of the Plemmons Student Union.

Broyhill featured a four-level, 640-space parking deck and more.

A tentative draft of this plan with recommendations from the public workshops will be presented to the ASU Board of Trustees in December and none of these plans are expected to be approved until next spring.

Check out the entire vision plan at this link. 

Click images below to enlarge.

Main Gateway

Current Conditions, Schemes and Charrette Outcome Rendering







Arts Corridor / Peacock Lot Station

Current Conditions, Schemes and Charrette Outcome





Rivers Street Station

Current Conditions, Schemes and Charrette Outcome





Stadium Lot 

Current Conditions, Schemes and Charrette Outcome






Broyhill Station 

Current Conditions, Schemes and Charrette Outcome





Legends Area 

Current Conditions, Schemes & Charrette Outcome





Pictures from Thursday and Friday

Boone Mayor Rennie Brantz takes a look at some of the schematics presented during the Master Plan 2025 meetings. Photos by Jesse Wood





Photos courtesy Duda Paine