New Beginnings, Challenges for Seaboard and Peace

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New Beginnings, Challenges for Seaboard and Peace

Angela Gamble, News Editor

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The sale of Seaboard Station will help fulfill the needs of students and the neighboring community, but it has also caused student concerns about outdoor athletics and parking.

What was announced in January, in an email to the WPU community, WPU’s President Dr. Brian Ralph stated that this purchase is part of Peace’s strategic plan to enhance the student experience. 

“This sale affords additional resources to invest in WPU students, and their respective programs,” stated President Ralph. “It provides greater opportunities both in and out of the classroom.”

President Ralph explained in an email that the buyer, PN Hoffman, a successful real estate developer from Washington, D.C.,  has a sophisticated strategy that increases value to the university by two-fold.

“The sale includes the three retail buildings in the center of Seaboard Station, the front corner lot and the tennis courts,” he said. “It is anticipated that the value due to the sale and return stemming from approximately $35MM to $45MM.”

By providing land to developers, the university has been able to increase its endowment fund significantly.

“This means we’re able to use more endowment resources to support the mission of the University, including programs and scholarships,” Ralph said. 

Even though the campus community and residents are in favor of increasing resources for immersive programs and campus housing options, some students have raised questions about the fate of outdoor athletic programs, and the lack of available parking.

parking lot and tennis courts at Seaboard Station

Parking area and tennis courts that are now sold at Seaboard Station

“Tennis athletes will relocate to courts in the Raleigh area (similar to many of our other athletics programs),” explains President Ralph.

“Our plan is developing an athletics complex in the future and make a home for as many of our outdoor sports as possible.”

In addition to the fate of WPU outdoor athletics, many WPU students face a dilemma when trying to find a parking spot during a school day.

“We need parking, parking has always been a challenge here,” says Deja Gainey, WPU rising senior. “I can speak for us [students] that we are hoping that this sale eliminates this long-awaited problem of parking.”

Raz Walker, WPU senior and student-athlete wants the university to focus on sustainable and long-term parking solutions.

“Improving the parking issue is and should be, at the top of most Peace’s priority list,” said Walker. “Parking is part of the student experience, and I just hope that the money from the endowment aids the future of WPU full circle.”

This phase of engagement has also made it clear that more work is required to address some critical areas of concern and university leaders recognize the issues with parking and encourage the student body to use alternative parking solutions, more importantly, patient throughout the next phase of the university.

“We are very excited about their plans and vision for our students, faculty, staff, and alumni,” said President Ralph. We are looking forward to taking WPU to the next level.”

 

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