Watauga EDC Meeting In Seven Devils Featured App State's Innovation District Presentation

The Watauga Economic Development Commission met May 18 at Seven Devils Town Hall and Watauga EDC member, and App State Director for External Affairs & Community Relations Matthew Dockham gave an hour-long presentation on Appalachian State University’s Innovation District, which will include 156 units of faculty & staff housing.

The project also features the Conservatory for Biodiversity Education and Research, which will potentially stimulate federal research grant opportunities while also providing cross-discipline partnerships between the university and K-12 schools.

In all, over $270M of planned construction and renovation will take place on the App State campus over the next six years. Dockham also shared plans for the App State Hickory campus, including renovation timelines and curriculum, with classes scheduled to begin at the facility this fall.

Joe Furman, Director of Economic Development for the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce updated the group on ongoing housing-related activities, including the
Watauga Community Housing Trust actively fundraising to cover costs related to their first home purchase.

The Watauga EDC submitted an application to the NC Department of Commerce for a Rural Transformation Grant, which would provide funds for potential site assessments and engineering work.

The Watauga EDC, Watauga Housing Council, and Boone Area Chamber of Commerce will be hosting a conversation on employer-led housing strategies later this month.

The Watauga EDC's next meeting is June 15, inside the Gallery Room at Beech Mountain Club. Meetings are open to the public. For more information visit BooneChamber.com.

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