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Appalachian State announces it will open new campus in Hickory

Appalachian State University
A rendering of the former Corning Optical Communications Building with App State signage.

Appalachian State University will open a new campus in Hickory. The university announced Friday it had finalized the purchase of the former Corning Optical Communications Building, which sits on nearly 16 acres of land.

The five-story building is 225,800 square feet and, according to the university, larger than any building on App State’s Boone campus. It also includes a cafeteria and nearly 700 parking spaces.

“Hickory is a vibrant, growing city, just a short drive from Boone, that offers opportunities for App State to continue the mission we have had since 1899 — to increase access to education,” Chancellor Sheri Everts said in a news release.

App State is a public undergraduate university — one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. It enrolls roughly 20,000 students.

The university did not give a timeline for when the new Hickory campus could open. Everts said she toured the building with fellow school officials Friday morning and that the school looks forward to “holding building tours, announcing the specific programs that will be offered … and sharing a timeline for opening the doors.”

Hickory Mayor Hank Guess expressed enthusiastic support for the project.

“This location … is perfectly situated here in the center of the Hickory region on U.S. Highway 321, which is a major corridor connecting Charlotte to Hickory and the High Country,” Guess said in the release.

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