NCGA proposes 2nd campus, funds infrastructure upgrades

A second NCSSM campus to be constructed in Morganton, NC, at a projected cost of $58 million is among the items the North Carolina General Assembly has put forth in its FY 2015-2017 budget and bond proposals.

The assembly’s budget package, which passed both chambers last week, totals approximately $21.7 billion. For NCSSM, key impacts of the budget include:

The proposed Morganton campus is part of $980 million allocated to the University of North Carolina system within a $2 billion bond proposal. The UNC funding package will be placed on a ballot for public vote on March 16, 2016. 

Legislators have discussed the idea of a second campus for a number of years as a way to expand the NCSSM experience for more students and to develop state-owned property in Morganton. North Carolina’s population has nearly doubled since NCSSM opened in Durham in 1980.

“Overall, the state budget news is very positive for our school,” says NCSSM Chancellor Todd Roberts. “We appreciate that state legislators were so responsive to our critical infrastructure needs with our first capital appropriation in more than a decade, allowing us to fund upgrades to our technology infrastructure, classroom technology, instructional facilities, and other areas of campus. We are grateful for legislators’ support for educating students across North Carolina. The proposed expansion to a second campus would allow us to serve more of the qualified students who want and need the opportunities provided at NCSSM.”

Tom Williams, chair of the NCSSM Board of Trustees, sees NCSSM’s leadership as well positioned to plan and lead a second campus, should the bond package pass. “If there’s an organization that knows how to shape a new institution focused on high-quality STEM education, it’s NCSSM,” Williams says. “This is an opportunity to expand on our mission, which is to reach talented students in the state and give them opportunities to achieve at their highest potential. Expanding to a second campus means opening these opportunities to still more North Carolina youth.”

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