Residential Infill along New Bern - Edenton


#41

Speaking of St. Augustine…If that college ever collapses, as has recently seemed highly likely, the resulting available land that it’s sitting on would become the single most transformational asset the east side of DT has ever seen.
Note: I’m not hoping for its collapse.


#42

Yeah, seems the old hospital reno project never came to fruition. I was cheering for that one.


#43

Nicely said, bro. I agree. @John


#44

I have said for years that St. Augustine and Shaw University need to join forces in order to stay viable. Otherwise they may both have trouble keeping afloat into the future. I would hate to see that happen, so I really think they need to consolidate to make their presence much stronger.


#45

A few folks in this thread have mentioned the possibility of St. Augustine’s University either merging with Shaw University or even shuttering its doors entirely.

I mean, given the national trends in higher education, either of those things certainly seem plausible to me, but is there anything tangible going on that suggests that either of those are significant possibilities in the near future?


#46

@daviddonovan there’s nothing tangible that I know of. I work at NCCU so if there was—that gossip would’ve leaked to Durham by now I think. Just my opinion.


#47

They were placed on their second year of probation over its financial problems and cut 22 jobs this year.

Per their own website last December

And through a DC media outlet in April:


#48

Their financial vulnerability and struggle to survive has been reported in the local media over the last few years. It’s certainly not a secret. With less than 1000 students, I just don’t see how it can remain viable without a significant boost in enrollment and revenues.


#49

Yeah, I mean, I have seen those stories, so I totally understand where the negative perceptions come from, at least.

I just feel like it’s a big jump to go from cutting 22 jobs to foreseeing out-and-out collapse. Not that it couldn’t happen at some point, of course, but lots of schools do plod along for extended periods with lower enrollments, so a shuttering or merger may or may not be something that’s contemplated any time soon.


#50

I hope it doesn’t shudder. It provides an admirable service to a population that needs it. And it has a rich history. I’d hate for a historic institution to just close. I think they’re more people rooting for St. Aug than we could imagine. :slight_smile:


#51

Def, lots of people rooting for them, and they do a great job integrating with parts of the community. They seem to be very involved in the Washington Terrace and College Park affordable stuff. All great to me. I wonder if they could do something to decrease scope and space. If there was some way to bring their big fences (literal) down and integrate some of their dorms with the surrounding community. I live near St. Aug’s and while I was walking through William Peace to get to Oak City Cycle the other day I started thinking about how different St. Augs is being really cut off by the fences. I bet they could refit the dorm that faces Washington Terrace and rent some of it out at a profit. Something creative like that might not be a bad idea. Or activate a Seaboard Station type place near or on their current footprint.

Probably not the worlds best ideas because it is not their core competency. But, fun to think about.


#52

Yes! @ADUsSomeday, All great ideas and I know this is the last thing on their mind but investing some money or finding a sponsor for some cool murals and some great landscaping would go a long way too. I’m building in college park so I’m keeping an eye on the neighborhood and want the best for it and St. Aug.


#53

The conundrum for St. Aug is that it’s a private institution that has to be financially viable to exist. It can’t fall back onto the UNC system or some other public entity for survival. The reality is that every high school in Raleigh has twice enrollment or more than St. Aug. The real problems become visually evident when you look at what the university has to carry on the financial backs of less than 1000 students and the Episcopal church.
Now, how do you encourage students to come to a university, pay an estimated $33K a year to attend a university that’s financially unstable and on probabation? It’s quite a problem.


#54

The land is valuable, and in a great location. I wonder if UNC or NC State or even Duke would consider taking it over if they became financially insolvent.


#55

…or just the UNC System, though I highly doubt we have a political climate that would welcome it.


#56

I mean if it was close shop or stay open in the UNC System who would argue? (A lot of people I’m sure…)


#57

There’s not a snowball’s chance that the UNC system would save the institution.


#58

I have to agree with you.


#59

The state is already looking at closing a few of the smaller colleges in the UNC system, or at least threatening to.

My theory has always been that Shaw and St. Aug’s will eventually merge.


#60

I researched them vis-a-vis other HBCUs in the US, and sadly neither ranks highly. I was surprised that St. Aug was above Shaw…barely. Shaw was essentially among the also-ran crowd that ranked in the last group among the HBCUs, just in front of the unranked institutions. Seven other HBCUs in NC are ranked higher than both Raleigh Schools. NC A&T was the highest ranked of the NC schools with Central being second.
https://www.usnews.com/best-colleges/rankings/hbcu