Appalachian State has purchased a building and acreage for a future Hickory Campus.

Appalachian Today reports the former Corning Optical Communications building at 800 17th St. NW in Hickory is five stories and sits on more than 15 acres of land with large open spaces, a cafeteria and nearly 700 parking spaces.

The university has been looking to expand and the Hickory-Lenoir-Morganton Metro Area — a population of more than 370,000 — is the largest metro area in North Carolina without a state university presence.

The future App State Hickory Campus has frontage along U.S. Highway 321 and is located less than 2 miles from the Hickory Regional Airport and 4 miles from Interstate 40.

The campus is close to downtown Hickory and two regional hospitals and is only a short drive from the second North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics campus, which is slated to open next fall in Morganton.