Council to consider final action on Montlieu
The High Point City Council on Monday will consider final action to approve the requested closure of Montlieu Avenue through High Point University.
The council will hold a public hearing at 6:15 p.m. on a request from HPU to close the street between N. Centennial Street and N. College Drive, which is just over 1 mile in length.
HPU wants the street closed to public traffic by July to enable it to build a school of pharmacy, physical therapy and physician assistant studies, as well as a new undergraduate sciences building as part of a $125 million expansion.
A vote by the council is expected following the public hearing.
HPU wants to use land it owns between Montlieu and Barbee avenues to build the new facilities by 2015.
This stretch of land isn’t deep enough to build the 300,000-square-foot facilities without incorporating part of Montlieu Avenue into the site, according to the university.
If its request is granted, HPU would reroute Montlieu Avenue through its campus to accommodate the new buildings and allow for an expected 6,200 pedestrian crossings per day of the street when the new programs are operational.
The council in December approved a memorandum of understanding endorsing and supporting HPU’s growth and expansion plans.
It also asked the N.C. Board of Transportation to delete the part of Montlieu Avenue that is the subject of the requested closure from the state highway system.
The board approved the deletion in early January, which gave the city control of the section.
If the closure is granted, the city will retain all water, sewer, electricity and other utility easements along the street right of way. HPU however, would be responsible for improvements to and maintenance of the road.
Earlier this week, the planning and zoning commission unanimously recommended approval of HPU’s request. Commissioners said they were convinced that the closure wouldn’t cause any public safety problems, though it would inconvenience some residents. They found this was justified, however, given the substantial economic benefits to the city of HPU’s expansion.
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