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Proposed downtown university campus gets name

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GREENSBORO — It turns out that “Downtown University Campus” was just a placeholder.

Organizers on Tuesday announced the project’s official name: Union Square Campus.

Opportunity Greensboro said in November it wants to build this joint venture — a union, if you will, among the city’s universities — at the southeast corner of South Elm and Lee streets.

To pick a name for the campus, the nonprofit turned to the history books.

In the late 19th century, campus organizers say Greensboro residents informally called that part of town the Union area. Union Cemetery, established by three local churches, sits a couple of blocks south of the proposed campus. Union Street runs nearby, parallel to West Lee Street.

The project is a union among Greensboro’s colleges.

Organizers say the first phase of Union Square Campus will focus on health care and nursing education.

About 400 nursing students from UNCG, N.C. A&T and GTCC will study here with help from Cone Health. Organizers also want to build a simulation lab that lets doctors and nurses train on computers, not cadavers.

Organizers hope to start construction on a four-story building early next year and open it in fall 2016.

They have not yet bought the site from the Redevelopment Commission of Greensboro and have not yet said if they have construction funding. The universities are expected to lease space in the building but will not pay for construction.

Opportunity Greensboro is a project of Action Greensboro, a nonprofit that supports community projects and business recruitment.

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