By Nathan Ham
Through listening sessions and online feedback forms from students, faculty and staff, Appalachian State University released a list of possible uses for the old Watauga High School Property acquired by the university in September of 2017.
The most mentioned suggestion for the property was to turn it into more parking spaces. As the campus and Boone continue to grow, parking has become an issue over the past few years, even with two on-campus parking decks. Parking could be used for both students and for event parking to alleviate congestion on campus and on King Street.
Another consideration for the property was to build a multi-use event facility that could hold several hundred people and use it to hold conferences and speaking engagements, similar to what used to take place at the Broyhill Center.
Recreation and athletics were also popular thoughts from those that wanted to share their opinions. Some suggestions included using the space for club sports and intramural sports as well as possible biking trails and hiking trails and a community park. Others thought that it could be used for Appalachian State athletics with track & field, football, softball, tennis and soccer as specific sports mentioned.
As the college continues to grow and enrollment increases, another idea mentioned was housing for students and staff. Suggestions included having upperclassmen and graduate student housing located here since it would seem to be a bad fit for freshman housing to be so far from campus. Another interesting thought was to use the area as short-term rentals for new faculty and staff members who just moved here as well as for visiting scholars and faculty members.
A few other ideas included a student farm, a performance venue, a storage facility for App State and even a medical or dental school for this part of the state.
The full list of ideas can be found here.