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For once, HPU thinks small
  • Updated

HIGH POINT — Construction crews are working to complete the first-ever newly built houses on the High Point University campus.

And a cluster of 11 of them stand out not only for their architecture but for their size.

Though standing two stories tall, each has only about 550 square feet of living space. HPU calls them “tiny homes,” but they are larger than those most often written about in stories about the “tiny house movement.” North Carolina’s building code allows them to be as small as 120 square feet, and the average size of a tiny house for sale in the U.S. is about 225 square feet, according to a survey last year by Porch.com, a home services website.

HPU President Nido Qubein said he suggested building such small houses after seeing some while traveling and reading about their efficiency. He thought students would love the idea too — and he was right.

“They were all reserved within a couple of days, with 24 more on a waiting list,” he said. “We will build more for next year.”

From the outside, their steep peaked roofs set them apart from all of the houses nearby — both the older ones that the university previously bought and renovated and the ones that were just built.

Inside, the first floor of each has one den/kitchenette and a bathroom. A narrow, steep staircase leads to a loft-style sleeping area.

Each of the tiny homes is intended for one student only, said Jason Sweet, HPU’s director of construction and renovation.

By contrast, the other 21 new houses in the area of Guilford Avenue between Centennial Street and Panther Drive will house four to eight people each. Ranging from 1,500 square feet to 2,800 square feet, some have four one-person bedrooms, some have four two-person bedrooms, and some have eight one-person bedrooms.

Whatever the size, detached housing has proven popular with students, Sweet said.

“It seems students sort of love this type of house,” in part because their cars are close at hand rather than across a parking lot, he said. “I think they just love the independence too.”

All of the houses were squeezed into spaces between the houses that already were there.

“It wouldn’t be ideal for the average homeowner, but this is a tight-knit community with all the students up here,” Sweet said.

The entire project — the houses, new roads, furniture and landscaping — cost about $10 million, he said.

Altogether the new construction is adding space for 150 beds. All of the houses are expected to be ready by the time students return to campus later this month.

Also under construction, though not due to be completed until next year, are apartments to house 300 students. They will be in the new Panther Commons, a 200,000-square-foot development at the corner of Farris Avenue and Panther Drive that also will include a restaurant, several retail stores and study space.


News
Apprenticeships target health care shortages
  • Updated

THOMASVILLE — Davidson-Davie Community College has created what it calls the largest health care apprenticeship program in North Carolina, with Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist as the college’s first health care partner.

Students will be able to work in a healthcare profession while taking courses related to their career goals, Holly Myers, dean of health sciences at Davidson-Davie, said in a press release.

“We are thrilled to be able to offer our students — and future students — an incredible array of opportunities within the health care sector through which they can pursue an educational pathway toward their chosen career while also having a stable income,” Myers said. “And not only that, but we are supporting the health care workforce and the communities in which we live by educating new professionals to fill much-needed jobs.”

The partnership between Davidson-Davie and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist will involve apprenticeships in medical assisting, medical laboratory technology, nursing, licensed practical nursing, pharmacy technology, central sterile processing, surgical technology and nurse aides.

The college will work with other healthcare partners to establish apprenticeships in health information technology, emergency medical technicians and paramedics.

This program builds off the 2021 collaboration between Davidson-Davie and Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist to launch the state’s first registered nurse apprenticeship program.

The apprenticeship program is an example of an innovative strategy for rebuilding the health care workforce, said Deb Harding, the vice president and regional chief nurse executive at Atrium Health Wake Forest Baptist.

“Staffing shortages exist among all disciplines and ancillary support roles,” she said. “This unique partnership not only offers structure that supports and grows the pipeline of health care learners but affords the unique opportunity to engage in new thoughts regarding models of care design and leverage the academic learning health system.”

Although the number of spots available for apprentices is limited, there are plans to increase the number over the next few years, the college said. To be eligible, students must be 18 years of age, pass a drug screen and background check and meet all the entry requirements for the educational program. Interested applicants should start by completing the college application process.


News
City approves new development, nonprofit grants
  • Updated

HIGH POINT — The High Point City Council unanimously approved a new residential development Monday night after finding compromise among the developer, residents living near the site and city leaders and staff.

The rezoning vote gives the green light to Leoterra Development to build its subdivision on a 75-acre tract at Old Mill and Skeet Club roads on property that has been farmland. The vote followed a discussion during the council meeting that drew about two dozen residents from near the site.

Leoterra Development attorney Tom Terrell said the company made compromises with its site plan to accommodate concerns of nearby residents and city planners. The developer removed the inclusion in the original plan for 360 apartments and scaled back density to 320 single-family lots, townhomes, duplexes and twin home units.

The site plan is designed to prevent traffic problems and congestion through street and lane design. The neighbors of the development got most of the changes they sought on density and traffic plans, Terrell said.

The city planning staff recommended a roundabout at Old Mill Road and Wheat Street, but the council didn’t approve that after hearing objections from Leoterra Development and residents.

Councilman Victor Jones said that he was pleased that the developer was willing to work with the city and residents. Councilman Wesley Hudson said the compromise among the parties served as a model for how developments should be considered.

Terrell said the Old Mill Road site is one of the last large undeveloped tracts in the Skeet Club Road corridor.

In other business, the council voted to approve $413,500 in annual grants to 18 community agencies. The council received applications from 25 nonprofits who sought a total of $980,863 in grants.

The council approved the grants to adhere to a policy that limits total nonprofit grant allocations to no more than the value of one-third of a penny on the city’s property tax rate, which is equal to $425,160.

No one from any of the nonprofit groups spoke about the grant funding during the council’s public comment period at the beginning of the meeting.

pjohnson@hpenews.com | 336-888-3528 | @HPEPaul


News
Police make arrests in armed robbery
  • Updated

HIGH POINT — Police arrested two men and a juvenile Sunday and accused them of trying to rob a man in a car at gunpoint until the man pulled out his own gun.

A 55-year-old man told officers he was sitting in his vehicle about 9:45 p.m. at an apartment complex south of downtown in the 700 block of Russell Terrace when three young men approached, pointed a shotgun and demanded his car keys, the High Point Police Department said.

The man said he pulled out a handgun, and the would-be robbers dropped the shotgun and ran away, police said.

Officers arrested three people nearby.

Anthony D. Coleman, 25, of Dry Fork, Virginia, was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon and simple possession of marijuana.

Antonio X. Jones, 18, of High Point was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon.

A juvenile was charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, according to police. His name was not released because he is charged as a juvenile.


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