Western Carolina University will hold an Open House on Thursday, Sept. 27, for its new instructional site in Biltmore Park Town Square, where more than 500 students reported for classes earlier this fall semester.
The Open House, to feature tours of classrooms and laboratories, is set for 5:30 until 7 p.m. WCU Chancellor David O. Belcher will deliver remarks at 6:30 p.m. Those interested in attending the event are asked to respond to Christy Lennox at 828-654-6498 or firstname.lastname@example.org before Thursday, Sept. 20.
WCU’s Programs at Biltmore Park are located in approximately 25,000 square feet of space at 28 Schenck Parkway in Biltmore Park Town Square, just off Interstate 26 at exit 37 between Asheville and Hendersonville.
The site includes a high-fidelity patient simulation laboratory for nurse anesthesia students and a nursing skills lab featuring a simulated hospital and outpatient care environment to allow nursing students to learn basic and advanced skills.
The new space also includes 12 classrooms, a conference room, a video conference room, four student/meeting rooms, faculty offices, break rooms, and a large collaborative room for faculty and student use.
At Biltmore Park, Western Carolina, which has offered a variety of programs in Asheville since 1937, has relocated under one roof 22 academic programs previously offered at various sites across Buncombe County, including at the University of North Carolina at Asheville and Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College’s Enka campus.
The move is designed to expand access to university-level programming to better serve the educational needs of Western North Carolinians in the Buncombe-Henderson corridor, while also improving operational efficiencies.
Patsy Miller, director of WCU Programs at Biltmore Park, said students are excited about the new educational venue.
“This walkable community is home to several outstanding restaurants where students can unwind after class and receive discounts when showing their university ID cards, a variety of stores, shops and boutiques, a day spa and a movie theater,” Miller said.
“Enrolled students have access to health and counseling services on-site and a semester-long membership to the Reuter YMCA located at Biltmore Park,” she said. “Our faculty and students love the new facility, and it has become quite a hit with the university community. We have already received several requests for event and meeting space, and we look forward to the many opportunities ahead for WCU Programs at Biltmore Park.”
At Biltmore Park, Western Carolina offers graduate programs from the colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Education and Allied Professions, and Health and Human Sciences, and an undergraduate program in nursing.
Additional WCU programs may be added at Biltmore Park in the future, but will not duplicate programs already offered by UNC Asheville or any other UNC system institution.
WCU administrators have been exploring ways to meet growing demand for higher education and professional development in Asheville and Hendersonville, and in the residential and business corridor between the cities, for several years. That need became increasingly apparent after numerous meetings across WNC to introduce Belcher, who became WCU chancellor in July 2011, to the region.
Historically, students enrolled in WCU classes offered in the Asheville area have come from Buncombe, Haywood, Henderson, Madison, McDowell, Transylvania and Polk counties.