High Point University's Main Campus Expansion
High Point University's latest expansion will not move into the city's mall. In 2011, High Point University bought a sizable portion of Oak Hollow Mall for about $9 million dollars.
The plan was to build a new School of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy on the property. Roger Clodfelter is vice president of university communications. He explains this vision was rejected because the university only owns 2/3 of the mall. "Originally we thought we could build these programs out there but because of the accreditation time-lines and that we don't own Dillards and Sears and several other small businesses like restaurants, we had to close that chapter."
The school has converted the former Circuit City space into a biomechanic and physiology lab. It opened last November.
Now the university plans to build two new facilities on the main campus. One will house the School of Health Sciences and School of Pharmacy. The other will be an undergraduate science facility. The projects are expected to bring in 700 students, create 125 new jobs and have a $500 million economic impact on the area. Clodfelter says the new buildings will sit on Montlieu Avenue between North College Drive and North Centennial Street. He also says the front steps will project into the street so a new traffic pattern is needed. "When we open up the School of Health Sciences and the School Pharmacy, the university is expecting to have 6,500 pedestrian crossings per day to cross this section of Montlieu Avenue," according to Clodfelter. "In terms of the vehicular traffic on Montlieu, a majority of it is university related traffic. We've worked with city officials and they don't appear concerned about re-routing traffic to go around Lexington Avenue or Kivett Drive."
Tuesday evening, January 28, the city's planning and zoning board will discuss closing Montlieu at North College Drive to public traffic. On February 3, city council members will consider all recommendations and make a final decision about the possibility of changing the road's traffic pattern.