RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A discussion about the expansion of Shaw University drew both excitement and concern during a community meeting on Monday evening.

It’s a university with a rich history that could soon have a very modern look.

“It’s not going to be a standard classroom the way it used to be five, 10, 15, (or) 20 years ago,” university president Dr. Paulette Dillard said. “That’s high rises. That’s headquarters. That’s Red Hat. That’s Cisco. We’re within walking distance of all of that, so why shouldn’t my campus look like what’s around me?”

She is excited about a plan to develop a modern urban campus. Dillard hopes doing so will bring in students and keep them at Shaw.

“If enrollment is the driver, and you don’t have the facilities with which to recruit, and you are student-dependent, you do the math,” she said. “It’s an enrollment game.”

Although plans are only very preliminary, they include asking for re-zoning to build taller buildings that can accommodate more people.

Developer James Montague owns several properties around the university and said he likes the idea of building it up, but he also hears concerns several residents raised, including worries about affordable housing and the height of the buildings.

“Some of the concerns, like parking, tax value. This is a major city now so those things are going to happen,” he said. “We’ve just got to be prepared for and try to raise the income to support some of the things that are happening.”

Some people don’t have much faith in the expansion plans, though, including Shaw graduate Kesha Monk.

“I’m not against growth, but I don’t believe them,” she said. “Shaw alumni need to come back and help the school grow into the next century. Shaw alumni understand the Shaw culture. Shaw needs Shaw,” she said.