NCAT campus

The Deese Clock Tower, the Academic Classroom Building (right) and the Aggie Village residence hall complex (background) are shown on the campus of N.C. A&T on April 26, 2019.

GREENSBORO — A year after purchasing part of a complex near campus, A&T might buy more apartments.

A&T officials said Friday that the university is in negotiations to buy the Campus Edge complex on South Booker Street, which sits just south of A&T's East Market Street campus. The 2-acre property has three buildings built in 2006 and space for about 100 students.

Guilford County real estate records list the owner as O. Herring Properties of High Point. The property's tax value is nearly $3.3 million.

Robert Pompey, A&T's vice chancellor for business and finance, said the deal could close over the summer. A&T's real estate foundation would buy and own the building, and A&T students would lease the apartments through the university's housing office.

This potential deal comes almost a year after A&T's foundation spent $19.6 million to buy two sections of the Campus Evolution Villages property adjacent to campus. The nine buildings gave A&T 320 more beds to house its students.

Demand for campus housing has been high at A&T. Ninety-nine percent of A&T's approximately 4,300 dorm space was leased at the start of the academic year, according to an A&T report, so the university leased another 700 beds at other area apartment complexes to accommodate the excess demand. Pompey said A&T plans to rent several hundred off-campus spaces for 2019-20 as well.

The university provides housing to roughly 40 percent of A&T's undergraduates. Pompey said most public universities have dorm space for only about 30 percent of their students.

Delaney Vandergrift, a senior who served as A&T's Student Government Association president until this week, said "it's necessary" that a growing university keeps pace with a student body that generally wants to live on or close to campus.

"Everybody loves being here," she said. "It's just more convenient and more cost-effective to be on campus."

To provide more student housing, A&T is planning to build a five-story, 420-bed dorm on Bluford Street across the street from Harrison Auditorium. That building probably won't open until 2021 because of delays in buying two homes next to the project. 

A&T also might continue buying nearby apartments.

"We're looking at different options," Pompey said. "I don't know if we'll pull the trigger on anything."

Also at Friday's Board of Trustees meeting:

• A&T said its fundraising campaign has collected about $74 million in cash and pledges. That's about 87 percent of the way to the university's $85 million goal, which it hopes to reach in 2020. A&T leaders said the campaign has pushed the endowment it uses for student scholarships and other items to nearly $77 million.

• Friday was the last regularly scheduled board meeting for four trustees. Tim Rice, the retired Cone Health CEO, and Donna James, an A&T alumna from Ohio, will leave the board June 30 when their terms expire. Delaney Vandergrift, the board's student representative, is graduating next month. And Laura Meagher is resigning with two years left on her four-year term. Meagher is general counsel for VF Corp., and she plans to move with the company to its new headquarters in Denver.

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Contact John Newsom at (336) 373-7312 and follow @JohnNewsomNR on Twitter.​

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