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Trustees Approve NCCU Expansion Plan

Posted April 23, 2008

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— North Carolina Central University's Board of Trustees voted unanimously Wednesday to expand the school's campus to accommodate an increasing student population.

The move was called hasty by some residents who oppose the plan to add 25 acres to the Durham campus.

"There was absolutely no discussion," Larry Hester said. "It was a unanimous vote, which meant that anything we did was not going to make a difference."

About 8,300 students are enrolled for the academic year at NCCU. The university expects that number to increase by more than 5,000 by 2017.

The plan will be implemented in phases over the next 10 years and will add more than two dozen buildings, including on-campus housing, academic buildings and an athletic complex.

It also requires the university must buy more than 100 private properties surrounding the northern part of campus, and that's why some residents are opposed.

Some say they don't want to leave their homes; others think the expansion will hurt historic neighborhoods. They want the university to consider less-populated areas that are not adjacent to campus.

"I'm not happy with what North Carolina Central is doing," resident Heshima Du Ewa said Wednesday. "You can find other places to build."

The university delayed voting on the plan in February and held four public hearings on the matter.

NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms said that ultimately, the decision was in the best interest of students and to allow the university grow.

"We're not interested in acquiring property just for the sake of acquiring property – only those properties needed to enable us to fulfill our mission," he said.

The university will begin meeting with architects to start the first phase of expansion. It must also formally request funding from the General Assembly to acquire land.

Because NCCU is a state-run institution, the state will negotiate deals with the 136 homeowners, and if needed, invoke eminent domain.

Opponents say they will continue fighting the expansion.

"We will be pursuing this with the Board of Governors, every elected official that we can rally," said Carolyn Greenboone, whose great-grandfather, James Shepard, founded the school. "And we will seek further discussion on this matter, even though you hastily rushed into a vote."

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  • DurhamDude Apr 23, 2008

    f6rider, the US will be a 3rd world country the way things are going.

  • R.O.BdaCZAR Apr 23, 2008

    E-E-E-FUNK...U-KNOW!

    They need to overcompensate everyone who is a homeowner or is currently paying mortgage. Renters, yall know the routine.

  • issymayake Apr 23, 2008

    dianadarling,

    Blame the emphasis on admitting marginal candidates on the enrollment gains pressure on regional universities by the previous UNC-GA president. BTW, those extra enrollment dollars allowed us to higher more workers and get much needed renovations. It was definitely a win/lose thing.

    I agree with higher admission standards, I just wanted to point out that NCCU's base admission standards were no less than those from the other UNC system schools.

  • Essay Apr 23, 2008

    f6rider, don't deny the shambles that one can hardly call homes in that area. That area is a prime example of neighborhood decay. Sinking homes, abandoned structures, and boarded-up windows hardly make a good community. Nor do these problems attract the clientele and image that central wants to portray. Horray for Central for taking the lead in this cleanup effort.

    Calling that area anything short of a ghetto would be an outright lie to yourself. It sucks for the people loosing their "homes" but the benefit is for the greater community.

  • dianadarling Apr 23, 2008

    issy
    Straight from the chancellor

    "In Durham, NCCU Chancellor Charlie Nelms made higher admissions standards an issue as soon as he arrived two months ago. Trustees at that institution approved a plan last month to increase the minimum GPA next fall to 2.3 for in-state students and 2.5 for out-of-state students, while increasing the minimum SAT score to 720"

    http://www.newsobserver.com/news/higher_education/story/734477.html

  • UpwardlyMobile Apr 23, 2008

    This is affecting one of my employees. But she is a young woman who can get whatever monies she can get from her house and buy something else. I'm so very concerned about the many elderly who live in that area. 50-60 grand is not enough for them to be able to start over. Where would they go? Who will give them another 30 year loan to live somewhere else.

  • issymayake Apr 23, 2008

    dianadarling,

    NCCU has the same base policies for admission as the other UNC schools. . now whether they choose to accept a student or not is the only consideration.

  • swimfreak19 Apr 23, 2008

    wow...good move central.

  • f6rider Apr 23, 2008

    Essay, maybe you will put your head on the pillow tonight and wake up in the morning in a 3rd world country for making unnecessary comments like that.

  • Essay Apr 23, 2008

    Hopefully they will buy and tear down all the dilapidated homes that are such an eyesore down hwy55. Development efforts can only improve that 3rd-world neighborhood.

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