City leaders work to move parts of local college campuses to downtown Greensboro

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GREENSBORO, N.C.- Some city leaders are working to move parts of seven college campuses to downtown Greensboro. 

UNCG, North Carolina A &T, Bennett College, GTCC, Guilford College, Elon Law, and Greensboro College are all part of the plan. 

Organizers want to build a classroom center somewhere in downtown Greensboro. 

The building would hold classes for health, science, and nursing fields. 

"There are very few communities our size that have that many institutions and close to 50,000 students," explains Ed Kitchen, a chairman of the downtown university plan. 

An idea behind the plan is to have a stronger downtown presence and make it easier to market Greensboro as a college town. 

"They don't really think of us as a college community, as a higher education community and I think this will help establish that," explains Kitchen. 

Planners are looking to build an 80-100,000 square foot building.

There are a few potential sites throughout downtown leaders are looking at.  

Businesses like Fincastles on South Elm Street are in favor of the move to downtown. 

"Having some new blood down here I think would help with the revitalization efforts that are underway downtown. It would just be a plus plus," explains Joseph Morphis, owner of Fincastles. 

Councilman Zack Matheny says Elon's Law School proves downtown can take on higher learning. 

He feels the idea makes Greensboro more competitive. 

"Quite frankly we are getting beat to the east of us in Durham and Raleigh.  We are getting beat to the west of us in Winston-Salem," explains Matheny.  

It's still very early on into the downtown university plan.

The estimated cost is around $15-20 million. 

By April, organizers expect to have a financial plan in place and a site picked out for the downtown campus.

Moses Cone is a partner in the downtown Greensboro campus plan.