RALEIGH N.C. (WNCN) – Changes could come to Shaw University that would reshape part of Raleigh’s historic downtown.

After more than 150 years in Raleigh, Shaw University leaders want to make its largely-unchanged footprint into a new downtown district with new school buildings, local businesses, amenities, as well as potential high-rises with housing.

It’s called the Shaw U District.

“All of these things are important for a vibrant downtown and therefore a vibrant Shaw,” president Dr. Paulette Dillard said.

The university submitted a zoning request this month that would allow buildings up to 30 or 40 stories high. But Dillard said they’re still hashing out ideas for ways the developments would fit the space best to bring in more students and outside investment.

“We want to be able to have the ability to do it if that’s what the master plan comes back and says that’s the right approach,” Dillard said.

The school plans to keep and renovate three historic buildings using a $1.5 million dollar federal grant.

Still, during Monday’s community meeting, some alumni expressed concerns about the impacts of the development on the character of the historic HBCU.

Raleigh local, Craston Artis, said while he welcomes expansion to the campus, he understands hesitation.

“I definitely understand, especially from black communities when we hear development and change in growth, that usually means a lot of us being pushed out and not being included,” Artis said.

The university will hold a series of other community meetings and campus tours:

  • July 11, 2022 at 6 pm —Tour of Campus w/ discussion of campus redevelopment
  • July 25, 2022 at 6 pm— Discussion of campus redevelopment
  • August 8, 2022 at 6 pm — Tour of Campus w/ discussion of campus redevelopment
  • August 22, 2022 at 6 pm —Second Community Meeting
  • September 14, 2022 at 6 pm — Discussion of campus redevelopment
  • September 27, 2022 — TBD