App State spending millions to prepare for students in the age of coronavirus

Appalachian State University prepares to reopen

BOONE, N.C. (WBTV) - In less than two weeks, students will return to campus at Appalachian State University.

While some colleges and universities across the country have gone totally online for the fall, App State will have a mixture of online and in-person classes.

Some students are worried.

Haley McCraw says most of her graduate studies will be online but admits she has concerns.

“There’s still a lot of nerves and anxiety over actually going into a classroom with a bunch of students,” McCraw said.

The university has been working for months, said officials, to prepare for the fall semester.

Almost 200 cameras for online learning are being installed in classrooms, hand sanitizing stations are in every building, an online medical check system is being set up, and more.

Counting the cost of supplies and installations and additional people needed, the bill is close to $11 million, said officials.

The goal is to continue the education process in the safest way possible, they said.

Dr. Bill Anderson, who chairs the Geology Department, says professors had time to set up good lesson plans for online classes but that sometimes, in person learning is necessary.

“We still need to get out in the field,” Dr. Anderson says, about geology classes.

Officials say that’s also true in other departments as well.

The systems in place will be evaluated as the semester continues, they said. Classes start Aug. 17.

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