GREENSBORO, N.C. -- Opportunity Greensboro announced Tuesday the empty plot of land at the intersection of South Elm and Lee Streets is the preferred location for a downtown university campus. The group explained the downtown university eventually would serve as shared facilities for all seven Greensboro colleges and universities.
Opportunity Greensboro co-chair Ed Kitchen said the campus will "boost downtown's larger thriving social and business climate." Groundbreaking could begin as early as late 2014 after fundraising, but first Opportunity Greensboro has to finalize the land acquisition process, continue its discussion with the city about its role in the project and refine projected costs.
Representatives from the four primary stakeholders--UNCG, NC A&T, GTCC and Cone Health--explained the first phase of the project will cost $40 million. It will house health care education and nursing programs, primarily geared toward graduate students and professionals. The schools will lease the space and share both classrooms and a state-of-the-art lab with sophisticated, high-cost equipment.
Site deliberations began in June, but ultimately partners determined South Elm Street and Lee Streets would be the most economically beneficial site. Opportunity Greensboro said it also is a centralized location for Greensboro's existing university and college campuses.
Kitchen explained the shared campus also will definitively represent the large student body in this city. "Sometimes we're in the shadow of the big institutions-the Dukes, UNCs-Chapel Hill in the Triangle area, but actually, we've got more students, when you think about it. More importantly, we can collaborate our institutions to do something bigger and better than any one of them can do by themselves. That's really the idea behind this downtown collaborative campus. Plus, we think it'll be a great boom for downtown."
City leaders explained their goal is for the first building to be open by 2016. The master developer said more hotels, family housing and other facilities eventually could be built around the downtown university.
WFMY News 2