High Point University has donated $22 million to go toward the city's downtown revitalization efforts. The plan centers around a sports arena, which broke ground last month. A professional baseball team plans to kick off its season next spring.
The university and the city have a mutually-beneficial relationship, and HPU President Nido Qubein says the city will thrive if it can attract millennials to settle there.
“Winston-Salem has certainly done it. Durham has certainly done it. So this is not exactly a unique idea,” Qubein said. “So that's really what we're trying to do is bring, you know, community pride, create a safe environment for families to enjoy themselves, just sort of make sure that the city of High Point continues to grow appropriately and advance itself in a meaningful way.”
Qubein said other plans for downtown include a children's museum, a park, and an event center, all within walking distance of the sports arena. He said the university has programs that relate directly to what the city of High Point is building.
“So think internships, think clinical placements when you talk a baseball team, you take about your exercise science majors, your physical therapy," Qubein said. "So there is a direct relationship between the work of the university and the benefits and functions that emerge with and through these new facilities we're building in downtown.”
Qubein has been a champion of the downtown development projects, and has helped raise more than $100 million in donations and private funding.