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Salem Outlines Vision for Growth

Posted on Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Campus leaders at Salem Academy and College are looking to the east to envision the future of the campus.  The present 60-acre Salem campus, which represents the oldest education institution for women in America, is landlocked but needs additional space for new science classroom buildings, dormitories, a conference center, athletic facilities and other facilities.

The new east campus would feature a new state-of-the-art science facility, predicated on the steady growth of students interested in science and math courses.  The space may include more research laboratories, greenhouse space and additional science friendly classrooms. 

With traditional enrollment at an all-time high, there also is a need for more residence halls.  The east campus vision would allow for new residence halls to meet the needs of students and offer more flexible living spaces, including apartment-like halls.  Additionally, the east campus would feature a unique women’s conference center that would be used for alumnae gatherings and events, as well as workshops and conferences for students and non-students.

Last, the east campus expansion will allow for the much needed expansion of athletic facilities.  Two years ago, Salem College joined the NCAA and more students than ever are participating in campus sports.  Much of the land being acquired that is slated for athletic fields is in a floodplain, which optimizes the use of that portion of the property that otherwise might not be suited for development at all.  

“The 25 acres east of our current campus is largely constituted by the Winston-Salem’s City Yard, which is scheduled for relocation to another part of the city,” said Dr. Susan Pauly, president of Salem Academy and College.  “Our vision is to acquire a large part of the City Yard property and use it to construct desperately needed state-of-the art facilities for living, learning and working at Salem.”

“Building on the City Yard property would allow Salem Academy and College to be a greater part of the burgeoning Piedmont Triad Research Park – something that we believe is crucial to the vision and growth of our campus,” Pauly added.  “The Research Park is going to be one of the key drivers of the economic vitality of this region, especially in terms of job creation, for many years to come.  Salem is ready to be part of that process and contribute to its growth.”

Pauly said it would most likely take several decades to fully implement Salem’s conceptual plan.  “We hope to acquire the City Yard property soon and begin the cleaning process,” Pauly said.  “As you can imagine, the City Yard land needs significant environmental improvements, and we are prepared to begin work soon after acquiring the property.”

“To put all this in some perspective, the last new building constructed on the Salem campus was the Salem Fine Arts Center in 1964,” she said.  “We are completely out of space on our current historic campus and have no land available to construct new buildings.  We’re certainly not going to tear down our historic buildings to make room for new ones.”

This fall, Salem College has one of the largest incoming traditional student classes in the school’s 240-year history and has received a number of recent positive accolades.  USA Today College ranked Salem College second in Groundbreaking American Women’s Colleges, and Kristina Sorrells, a math teacher at Salem Academy and graduate of Salem College, was named the Outstanding Secondary School Mathematics Teacher for Private/Charter schools by the North Carolina Council of Teachers of Mathematics and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction.

“We’re incredibly proud of Salem women’s accomplishments and what our alumnae are doing for Winston-Salem, North Carolina and the entire nation and world,” Pauly added.  “Our alumnae are the ones who are inspiring us to move forward with plans for growth of the Salem campus.  Our vision is ambitious, and we are ready to move forward.  The Salem board of trustees already has voted to endorse our plan for building the east campus, and we have plans to embark on a capital campaign beginning in 2014.”

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