UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Faculty and staff give input on Millennial Campus

Photo of community membersFaculty and staff had a chance to weigh in on UNC Greensboro’s vision for its Millennial Campus Initiative at an Open House last week.

About 70 faculty and staff dropped by the Virginia Dare Room in the Alumni House Thursday afternoon to hear a presentation from the consultant team working with UNCG on the planning process of the two “innovation districts” – a new spin on the 20th century research campus meant to strengthen connections between campus and community. Attendees were asked to provide input on all aspects of the project, from naming ideas to partnerships and activities that would benefit UNCG’s academics, research and public engagement.

UNCG is one of North Carolina’s most diverse educational institutions, with activities that bring economic benefits to Greensboro and the greater Triad region, said Bob Geolas, partner at HR&A Advisors, Inc. A Millennial Campus designation provides an opportunity to grow UNCG’s research capacity, forge new partnerships with private partners and build a dynamic innovation ecosystem.

On May 19, 2017, the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors approved a proposal from UNCG for the establishment of a Millennial Campus designation. The approval designated two areas of the campus as new districts for future development: One along Gate City Boulevard, with a focus on Health and Wellness, and the other along Tate Street, with a focus on Visual and Performing Arts. Collectively, the Millennial districts will encompass approximately 73 acres of existing campus property.

For an innovation district to be successful, Geolas said, it must encompass some key characteristics: collaborative, authentic, inspiring, accessible and affordable.

A university conference center, a low-cost performing arts space and a collaborative work space are just a few of the ideas suggested by faculty and staff, who provided written input on poster-sized paper at the conclusion of each of the 30-minute presentations for faculty and staff.

The consultants held a public forum later in the evening for the two neighborhoods closest to the innovation districts: College Hill and Glenwood.

If you were unable to make it to the Open House, you can still provide feedback on the Millennial Campus Initiative website through Nov. 2.

Once the visioning process wraps up, HR&A Advisors will draft a guiding plan and assist UNCG in identifying strategic partners and opportunities for some initial projects in each district. UNCG will then solicit further input on those projects, which will be intended to kick-start development of the Millennial Campus. The initial plan is expected to be drafted by the beginning of 2019 and will continue to evolve based on new information, ideas and opportunities.

By Elizabeth L. Harrison
Photography by Martin W. Kane