Greensboro: Recreation

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Greensboro: Recreation


A tour of Greensboro might begin with Blandwood Mansion, a 19th-century Italian villa in downtown Greensboro, which is a National Historic Landmark and former home of Governor John Motley Morehead. Not far from Blandwood is the William Fields House, a Gothic Revival-style structure that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Since 1973 Carolina Model Railroaders has displayed scale trains and equipment that, after relocating in 2003, were rebuilt into a different configuration. Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, located in North Greensboro, provides a fascinating look at a battle that helped win America's independence. The 220-acre park, which was the first Revolutionary War battleground to be preserved as a national military park, includes a museum and interpretive automobile, bicycle, and foot trails for retracing the battle. The adjacent eight-acre Tannenbaum Historic Park/Colonial Heritage Center served as a staging area for British troops under Cornwallis's command during the Revolutionary War Battle of Guilford Courthouse. Today, the park features a visitor's center, gift shop, and exhibits depicting colonial life. Not far from the two parks is the Natural Science Center, a hands-on museum, zoo, and planetarium.

The Greensboro Children's Museum is an exciting, colorful place with interactive exhibits and activities designed for kids up to age 12 as well as summer camp, programs, and workshops. Fun for the whole family can be had at Celebration Station, featuring miniature golf, water bumper boats, arcade games, batting cages, and more. Wet 'n Wild Emerald Pointe is the largest water park in the state with a giant wave pool and other water activities. More than 60,000 tropical plants and 1,100 exotic animals are the main attraction at North Carolina Zoological Park, 25 miles southeast of Greensboro, that includes an impressive 37-acre African Plains exhibit.

Arts and Culture

The energy behind Greensboro's vibrant arts scene is the United Arts Council, located in the Greensboro Cultural Center at Festival Park, downtown's performing arts showplace and home base for 25 visual and performing art organizations as well as art galleries, a sculpture garden, and an outdoor amphitheater. The council serves as the fund-raising umbrella for the city's many arts groups. The council funds 14 organizations and provides support to other groups. It also operates an artists' center, where serious, talented writers, painters, potters, and others may rent inexpensive studio space.

The Greensboro Symphony Orchestra, founded in the 1920s, performs masterworks and pops concerts from September to May at the War Memorial Auditorium in the Greensboro Coliseum Complex. Since 1980 the Greensboro Opera Company has presented performances by local talent year-round and an annual production featuring international talent in operatic works performed in the original language, also at the War Memorial Auditorium. The Greensboro Ballet, also the home of the home of the School of Greensboro Ballet, offers three performances each season and delights holiday audiences each December with a presentation of The Nutcracker. The North Carolina Dance project holds an annual concert in Greensboro and features two dance troupes that travel throughout the state.

Jazz is very popular in Greensboro with nationally known musicians performing in the 1927 vintage Carolina Theatre and in local clubs. The Carolina Theatre is the principal venue for performing arts productions sponsored by City Arts Drama of the Greensboro Parks and Recreation Department. City Arts oversees the Livestock Players Musical Theatre, which presents Broadway musicals in November, April, and July; Children's Theatre, which performs during the school year; Razz-Ma-Tazz Musical Revue Company; the Music Center; Greensboro Concert Band; Philharmonia of Greensboro; Choral Society of Greensboro; Youth Chorus; and We Are One Youth Choir.

Theatrical entertainment also abounds in Greensboro. At the Barn Dinner Theatre audiences have enjoyed dinner and a Broadway-style play year-round since 1962. Professional theater in an intimate setting is the specialty of the Broach Theatre in the Old Greensborough Historic District, which produces seven adult plays from February to December. Community Theatre of Greensboro presents five Broadway plays and musicals.

Greensboro's universities and colleges sponsor arts events throughout the year that are open to the public. The artists series at Guilford College, for example, brought the Prague Chamber Orchestra to Greensboro, and the UNCG Concert and Lecture Series has sponsored such notables as violinist Isaac Stern and actor Hal Holbrook. In 2005 a Nigerian art and literature series kicks off a biennial cultural program.

Museum lovers enjoy the Greensboro Historical Museum, which traces the development of Guilford County from Native American times through the present. Special collections include memorabilia of author William Sydney Porter, better known as O. Henry, who grew up in Greensboro, as well as a variety of items and information related to Edward R. Murrow and First Lady Dolley Madison, who lived in Guilford County. The museum also has two restored log homes open for touring on its downtown site and has recreated a 1880s village of Greensboro, showing the city as it might have been when O. Henry left in 1882. The Richard Petty Museum, located south of Greensboro, contains memorabilia relating to the race car driver.

North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A & T) is the site of a nationally recognized facility, the Mattye Reed African Heritage Center in the Dudley Building, a repository for more than 3,500 artifacts from more than 30 African and Caribbean countries. The Old Mill of Guilford provides a view of the past through its working water-powered mill.

Greensboro is not lacking in art galleries. The Greensboro Artists' League gallery, founded in 1956, promotes the visual arts of the Piedmont Triad with changing exhibitions by local artists and a sales gallery. The Weatherspoon Art Museum, on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Greensboro is widely recognized for having one of the most outstanding collections of post-World War II American art in the Southeast. The African American Atelier in the Cultural Center features works by local artists and presents six to eight exhibitions per year. North Carolina artists are the focus at Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art. The Guilford Native American Art Gallery was the first of its kind in the Southeast.

Arts and Culture Information: United Arts Council of Greensboro, 200 N. Davie St., Greensboro, NC 27402; telephone (336)373-7523; fax (336)373-7553

Festivals and Holidays

Many of Greensboro's biggest celebrations focus on music. The nationally acclaimed Eastern Music Festival began in 1962 and brings the world's most promising music students to Greensboro each year for six weeks of intense study with the world's most accomplished musicians. The performers, who spend the summer on the Guilford College campus, present more than 40 concerts from June through August.

St. Patrick's Day brings the Green Party to the downtown area in the form of several bands performing at various venues. Fun Fourth Festival in the downtown National Register Historic District is a street festival that thousands flock to in the inner city to celebrate the Fourth of July. Arts and crafts from all over the country take center stage at two events sponsored by the Gilmore Shows' Carolina Craftsmen: the annual Spring Show in April and the Christmas Classic in late November. African American arts and culture take the spotlight during the two-month African American Arts Festival (since 1988) that begins in mid-January and extends to mid-March. Also in March is the African American Heritage Extravaganza with dance, music, art exhibits, and "soul food" sampling.

Sports for the Spectator

When it comes to recreation, Greensboro is a city for all seasons and all sports. From May through August, the United Soccer League's Carolina Dynamo play at the 3,000-seat Macpherson Stadium that opened in 2002 and is part of the extensive Bryan Park. Summer used to mean "batter up" at War Memorial Stadium with the Greensboro Bats, a Class A farm team of the Florida Marlins. The team's former stadium was built in 1926 and in 2004 was the fourth oldest active minor league park in the country. However, in the spring of 2005 the brand-new $20 million First Horizon Park opened with more than 5,000 seats and featuring suites, party decks, and a children's play area; the team also changed its name to the Grasshoppers. The Greensboro Generals, an East Coast Hockey League Team affiliate of the Carolina Hurricanes take to the ice from October through March at the Greensboro Coliseum Arena.

The Chrysler Classic of Greensboro golf tournament, sponsored by the Greensboro Jaycees, attracts top names in golf to Greensboro in the fall (previously held in the spring until 2003).

The sports fan can also find plenty of collegiate sports in the area. Fall's kicks come when the successful Spartan soccer team takes to the field at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), and winter often brings Carolinians' favorite rivalry, the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) basketball tournament at the Greensboro Coliseum. The North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A & T) basketball team often lands a berth in the NCAA tournament, but the football team also draws crowds to the 22,000-seat Aggie Stadium. Women's sports include basketball and track. UNCG women's soccer, basketball and tennis teams have been prominent nationally.

Sports for the Participant

Greensboro is a launching site for just about any interest. The state's beaches are just four hours away, and the cool Blue Ridge Mountains are a three-hour drive. One of the highlights of Greensboro itself is the extensive parks and recreation system, which includes 170 parks on more than 3,500 acres. Bicycling routes, fitness and hiking trails, swimming pools, and a network of community parks and 11 recreation centers are spread throughout the city. Tennis is an especially popular sport in Greensboro, both for players and spectators. The city has tennis courts in 16 locations, three of which are fully equipped tennis centers. The United States Tennis Association's (USTA) Greensboro January Indoor Junior Championships is played annually at the Simkins Indoor Pavilion in Barber Park in Greensboro. Jaycee Park, site of the Love Tennis Center, is home to the North Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame along with the Junior USTA-Sanctioned Tennis Tournaments and Junior Novice Tennis Tournaments.

The area's many golf aficionados find challenging golf in the 600-acre Bryan Park, as well as at the area's many private golf courses. The park includes two 18-hole championship golf courses, two putting greens, a driving range, and a golf school. Facilities at Bryan Park also include a tennis center, a nature trail, and a wildlife sanctuary.

The Greensboro Sportsplex has many amenities on its 106,000 square feet of space including 8 basketball and volleyball courts and 3 state-of-the-art indoor soccer fields along with a hockey program and summer camps.

Another well-used city park is Country Park, a 126-acre facility in northern Greensboro listed as a National Historical Landmark property that includes two stocked fishing lakes; hiking, bicycling, and jogging trails; pedal-boat rentals; and plenty of places for a quiet picnic. It also is the site of the annual Carolina Cup Bicycle Road Race in September sponsored by U.S. Cycling.

Shopping and Dining

North of downtown Greensboro, visitors can stroll through a relaxed neighborhood of 37 unique shops, restaurants, and boutiques housed in elegantly refurbished 1920s vintage buildings at State Street Station. On the city's southwest side, the Four Seasons Town Centre features three levels with more than 200 shops and restaurants in 1.3 million square feet. With 95 stores on 75 acres of open-air shopping, the Friendly Center has three department stores and many national retailers. In the section of downtown called Old Downtown Greensborough, browsers will find more than a dozen antique stores housed in turn-of-the-century store-fronts. The city and neighboring communities are also home to dozens of outlet stores. Products manufactured locally, such as clothing and furniture, are especially popular with shoppers.

As for dining, barbecue, hushpuppies, and coleslaw are North Carolina staples, and restaurants serving these local favorites are plentiful in the metropolitan Greensboro area's 500 eateries. Hungry visitors will also find upscale eateries and a variety of ethnic cuisines.

The locals enjoy going down to the Greensboro Farmers Curb Market year-round for an abundance of fresh produce, baked goods, flowers, and crafts.

Visitor Information: Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 317 S. Greene St., Greensboro, NC 27401-2615; telephone (336)274-2282; toll-free (800)344-2282; fax (336)230-1183; email [email protected]

Greensboro: Economy

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Greensboro: Economy

Major Industries and Commercial Activity

For decades, the products of Greensboro's approximately 500 factories, such as Kent cigarettes and No Nonsense pantyhose, were known better than the city itself. However, an increasing number of companies have since discovered its award-winning quality of life, a low crime rate, and its thriving business climate including low lease rates and facility costs, below-average wages, and moderate overall costs appealing and have moved in or expanded their existing business.

The traditional industriestextiles, furniture, and tobaccoremain a dominant influence on the local economy, as does manufacturing in general. But unlike many other areas of the country with a heavy dependence on manufacturing, Greensboro has prosperednot sufferedas jobs have been lost to automation and foreign imports. Diversification has been the key. For example, the city has been an insurance center for decades. Jefferson-Pilot Corporation is headquartered in Greensboro, as is mortgage insurance provider United Guaranty Corp. Printing and publishing are growing industries. Gilbarco, a maker of service station equipment, is headquartered in Greensboro. Electronics firms such as Analog Devices, A M P Inc., and RF Micro Devices also have plants in the city. In December 2004 RF Micro Devices announced a $75 million expansion plan with a projected 75-position job growth. Vicks VapoRub, invented in Greensboro more than 75 years ago, is still produced there, as are other familiar products, such as Nyquil nighttime cold medicine, Vicks Formula 44 cough mixture, Vicks cough syrup, and Vicks cough drops (although the company has been taken over by Procter & Gamble).

International flavor has been added, courtesy of Twinings Tea of England and Fuji Foods of Japan, which located their U.S. manufacturing plants in Greensboro. Switzerland's Novartis located its dyestuffs and agricultural divisions in Greensboro, Sweden's Volvo Truck Corp. chose Greensboro for the headquarters of its Volvo-GM Heavy Truck Corporation, and Japan's Konica Manufacturing USA, Inc. located its plant for the manufacture of photographic paper in the city.

The opening of the Piedmont Triad International Airport terminal just west of the city in 1982 set off a building boom along nearby Interstate 40 and the feeder roads to the airport that has not yet shown signs of abating. The corridor is being called the "downtown of the Triad," and the chambers of commerce from the three Triad cities have joined forces to attract businesses to the area.

Items and goods produced: furniture, textiles, apparel, tobacco products, chemicals, electronic equipment

Incentive ProgramsNew and Existing Industries

Local programs

Both the city of Greensboro and Guilford County have incentive policies available to assist new and expanding businesses. One example is the Targeted Loan Pool Program that began making funds available in November 2003 to small businesses from a $1 million pool if they currently operate or plan to open in one of Greenboro's State Development Zones.

State programs

North Carolina, a right-to-work state with a low unionization rate, offers a revenue bond pool program through various banks. Several venture capital funds operate in the state and inquiries can be made through North Carolina's Council for Entrepreneurial Development (CED) that was founded in 1984. About 8,000 entrepreneurs also utilize CED's programs and services statewide. North Carolina offers State Technology Based Equity Funds providing financing for new technology-based enterprises, as well as TDA incubators for firms transferring new technologies into commercial applications. The state issues Industrial Revenue Bonds for new and expanding businesses empowering them to provide good employment and wage opportunities for their workers. The state offers an income tax allocation formula that permits the double weighting of sales in calculating corporate income tax. The North Carolina Department of Transportation administers a program that provides for the construction of access roads to industrial sites and road improvements in areas surrounding major corporate installations. A 4 percent tax credit is available to new and expanding companies via the William S. Lee Act for machinery and equipment investments over $2 million, along with a jobs tax credit, worker training tax credit, research and development tax credits, and business property tax credits.

Job training programs

The state of North Carolina's Division of Employment and Training offers a unique system of job training programs available to any new or expanding manufacturing employer creating a minimum of 12 new production jobs in the state, and to any new or prospective employee referred for training by a participating company. The industrial training service provides great versatility in terms of types and length of training, and classes can be held in a company's plant or on the campus of one of the state's community colleges. The state of North Carolina furnishes instructors and, at the company's request, may test and screen job candidates. Employees may be trained before or after employment by the company. The industrial training service is financed solely by the state of North Carolina.

Development Projects

Greensboro's Economic Development Office manages and supports development projects throughout the community. One critical project was the $20 million First Horizon Park that opened in the spring of 2005 with more than 5,000 seats and a wide variety of amenities for the Class A baseball team, the Greensboro Grasshoppers (name changed from the Bats, concurrent with the move). At a cost of $500 million, a FedEx hub, to be only the fifth in the nation, is targeted for completion in 2009 and is expected to create 1,500 jobs at the Piedmont Triad International Airport. In February 2005 computer giant Dell began building in nearby Winston-Salem, a deal that Greenboro's officials were prominent in procuring as it will bring the region about 1,500 jobs. A 29-acre development was in progress in spring 2005 along Eastchester Drive that is to include a rebuilt version of Kepley's Barn (a reception hall destroyed by a 2001 fire) plus retail stores and a hotel.

Economic Development Information: Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, 342 N. Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401; telephone (336)275-8675; fax (336)275-9299

Commercial Shipping

Greensboro is a hub for moving freight nationwide by rail or truck. More than 50 motor freight trucking firms have offices in Greensboro, and Norfolk Southern Railway Corporation operates one of the most active intermodal facilities in its 20-state system in Greensboro. Dedicated piggybacks hauling trailers travel out of Greensboro. Norfolk Southern provides second-morning service for freight going to Chicago from Greensboro and third-day service to the West Coast.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

In addition to its role as a government center, Greensboro serves as a business, financial, and retail hub for the county and for a semicircle of more rural counties to the north, south, and east. The city's major industry is manufacturing, from textiles to electronics, but retail and wholesale trade, finance, insurance, real estate, and the service sector also are major parts of the economy. Factors that are attracting companies to Greensboro include a large and growing Triad population base of nearly 1.4 million people (projected in 2005) from which to draw employees; a motivated and trainable work force; a physical site available at a reasonable price; sophisticated telecommunications capabilities; a location near a major airport and highway network; and a respected community college system that provides employee training assistance at no charge through a state program. With the expansion of existing business (759 in 2004, generating nearly $145 million) and the creation of new business (75 in 2004 and nearly $225 million) the job market will continue to be an active one.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Greensboro metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.

Size of nonagricultural labor force: 354,900

Number of workers employed in . . .

construction and mining: 18,800

manufacturing: 66,100

trade, transportation, and utilities: 72,100

information: 6,700

financial activities: 19,700

professional and business services: 43,100

educational and health services: 42,200

leisure and hospitality: 29,500

other services: 15,500

government: 41,300

Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.49

Unemployment rate: 4.7% (December 2004)

Largest employers (Greensboro MSA)Number of employees
Guilford County Public Schools7,900
Moses H. Cone Health System & Affiliates7,000
U.S. Postal Service3,367
American Express3,200
Guilford County3,000
City of Greensboro2,935
Volvo Trucks North America2,200
United Parcel Service2,100
Bank of America, N.A.2,000
Lorillard Tobacco1,950

Cost of Living

The cost of housing in Greensboro is slightly below the national average, as are costs for food, utilities, and other necessities.

The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors for the Greensboro area.

2004 (3rd Quarter) ACCRA Average House Price: $216,660 (Winston-Salem)

2004 (3rd Quarter ACCRA Cost of Living Index: 89.3 (U.S. average = 100.0) (Winston-Salem)

State income tax rate: Ranges from 6.0% to 8.25%

State sales tax rate: 4.5% (food and prescription drugs are exempt; food sales are subject to local sales taxes)

Local income tax rate: None

Local sales tax rate: 2.5% (county-wide) (restaurant food sales are subject to local sales tax of 7.5%; 2.0% in grocery stores for food)

Property tax rate: $.5675 per $100 of assessed valuation (assessed valuation = 100% of market value)

Economic Information: Greensboro Area Chamber of Commerce, 324 N. Elm St., Greensboro, NC 27401; telephone (336)275-8675; fax (336)275-9299

Greensboro: History

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Greensboro: History

City Named for Revolutionary Hero

Greensboro is the county seat of Guilford County, which was founded in 1771 and named after England's first Earl of Guilford, Lord Francis North. Perhaps the first thing that newcomers notice about Greensboro is how green the city is. They are often surprised to learn that Greensboro is named for a mannot its lush landscape.

They soon hear the story of Nathanael Greene, a Revolutionary War general, who in 1781 played a major role in the colonists' fight for independence at a battlefield called Guilford Courthouse just north of present-day Greensboro. Greene lost the battle to Britain's Lord Charles Cornwallis, but historians credit him with so weakening Cornwallis's army that surrender soon followed.

More than 25 years later, the settlers of Guilford County decided to replace their county seat of Martinville with a more central city. They measured out the exact center of the county, and in 1808, a new 42-acre city was created. It was named Greensborough (meaning town of Greene) to honor Nathanael Greene. By 1895 Greensborough had become Greensboro.

City Rises to the Confederate Call

The city grew slowly at first, but by the mid-1800s the seeds for its future as a textile, insurance, and transportation center had been planted. In 1828 the first textile mill opened, and in 1850, the first insurance company. In 1851 men began laying railroad tracks. The progressiveness of the county's educational community was showing, too. A log college for men had been operated there since 1767, and in 1837 the first coeducational institution in North Carolina opened. Called the New Garden Boarding School, it continues today as Guilford College.

The founders of the school were Quakers, many of English and Welsh descent, who were among Guilford County's first permanent settlers. Other early arrivals were a group of Germans who settled in the eastern portion of the county, and a number of Pennsylvanians of Scots-Irish descent who traveled south in search of land and opportunity.

The peace-loving nature of the Quakers influenced the area and its development. Quakers established the first Underground Railroad in Greensboro in the 1830s. When the Civil War was at hand, Guilford County citizens voted 2,771 to 113 against a state convention to consider secession from the union, writes local author Gayle Hicks Fripp in her history, Greensboro: A Chosen Center. North Carolina eventually became the last state to secede on May 20, 1861, and Guilford County citizens accepted the decision. They turned churches into hospitals and melted church bells for ammunition. For a few days in April 1865, Greensboro even was the seat of the Confederate government as President Jefferson Davis contemplated surrender in a meeting with his military leaders.

Transportation and Textiles Spur Growth

The turn of the nineteenth century brought tremendous growth to Greensboro. Much of the prosperity then and now can be traced to one man and the moving of a line. The man was John Motley Morehead, state governor from 18411845. He used his influence to curve an east-west line of railroad tracks miles north so it would pass through his hometown of Greensboro. The city soon became known as the Gate City for its busy train station (60 running daily), and ever since, transportation has remained a key to the city's development.

In 1892 two Maryland salesmen, the Cone brothers, chose Greensboro as the site for the first textile-finishing plant in the South. Thus began an enterprise called Cone Mills, which would become one of the largest makers of denim and corduroy in the world. By 1920 Blue Bell was making bib overalls there, and Burlington Mills, which later became Burlington Industries, had moved to Greensboro by 1935. Both companies added to the textile industry's influence on the economy.

Modern Era Sees Racial Problems; Skyline Changes

The influence of the insurance industry showed on Greens-boro's skyline in 1923, when the city became the site of the tallest building between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. The 17-story Jefferson Standard Building still stands beside the 20-story Jefferson-Pilot Tower, today the tallest building in Greensboro; it was built in 1990.

The 1940s brought people from all over the country to Greensboro. During World War II, the military located an Overseas Replacement Depot in the city in 1944, and more than 300,000 men and women were processed or trained for service there.

The 1960s to the mid 1990s brought immense change to the city socially, cosmetically, and economically. In 1960 Greensboro was the site of the first Civil Rights-era sit-in when four African American students refused to accept a lunch-counter color bar; their actions led to the collapse of segregation in the American South. A new facea blend of old character and new maturitywas put on downtown. Modern office buildings and a government center were built; The Carolina Theatre, founded in 1927, was saved and restored; arts events downtown breathed new life into the inner city; and a campaign was launched to save a turn-ofthe-century area called Old Greensborough.

Economic Diversification Spurs Growth

The civil rights movement brought economic change to Greensboro. Tradition and innovation mixed, as high-technology electronics manufacturers and international firms, like the CIBA-GEIGY Corporation (later CIBA Corp. and now Novartis), moved in alongside the city's textile and tobacco plants. The U.S. Postal Service opened one of the nation's 21 bulk-mail centers, a huge facility spanning 7 acres. Kmart and Polo-Ralph Lauren chose the Greensboro area for their major distribution centers. In 2002 Powell Co., a home furniture importer/distributor, moved into the 300,000-square-foot location formerly occupied by Sears' distribution center. The opening of the Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) terminal in 1996 to serve Greensboro and its Triad neighbors set off a spurt of industrial growth there and united the cities more closely than ever. This will be enhanced when FedEx completes the building of its cargo hub for $500 million on 1,000 acres of the eastern side of the airport. The spring of 2005 brought a brand-new $20 million stadium for the Class A Grasshoppers (formerly Bats). City financial officials projected in 2005 steady to moderate gains in revenue that would parlay into a solid economic forecast. The continued influx of new businesses (75 in 2004) and the expansion of existing businesses (759 in 2004) in a variety of fields translates to an overall general prosperity for the area's workforce and the city as a whole.

Historical Information: Greensboro Historical Museum, 130 Summit Ave., Greensboro, NC 27401; telephone (336)373-2043; fax (336)373-2204

Greensboro: Education and Research

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Greensboro: Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

The Guilford County Schools (GCS) system was created on July 1, 1993, when the former Greensboro, High Point, and Guilford County school systems merged to form the third largest school district in North Carolina. The system continues to grow each year by approximately 1,200 new students. The academic achievement of GCS students has risen each year since the merger, as well. GCS offers its high school students two directions to help them prepare for future careers: College Tech Prep and College Prep. The system has earned a state and national reputation for its technological innovations that help its own students and students in other districts statewide.

Sixteen Magnet Schools focus on specialized topics such as communications, cultural arts, and foreign language. Other local high schools include International Baccalaureate programs while Middle College High Schools operate on area college campuses. The Early College at Guilford provides high school students the opportunity to earn college credits, and the Saturn Academy has flexible schedules. High school students may also take advantage of performing arts courses, television production classes, and courses in photography and commercial food service. Students with autism, cerebral palsy, orthopedic impairments, and severe and profound handicaps can attend GSC's Gateway Education Center, a facility that is world-renowned for its exceptional programs. McIver Education Center serves about 100 mentally challenged students from age 3 to 22.

The following is a summary of data regarding the Guilford County Schools as of the 20032004 school year.

Total enrollment: 65,828

Number of facilities

elementary schools: 64

junior high/middle schools: 19

senior high schools: 22

other: 2

Student/teacher ratio: 20:1 (kindergarten-grade 5); 23:1 (grades 6-8); 20:1 (grades 9-12)

Teacher salaries

minimum: $28,890

maximum: $64,320

Funding per pupil: $6,587 (20012002)

The city also is served by 48 private schools, including church-related (37) and nonreligious (11) institutions.

Public Schools Information: Guilford County Schools, 712 N. Eugene St., Greensboro, NC 27401; telephone (336)370-8100

Colleges and Universities

The 200-acre University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG), with more than 14,300 students and 800 full-time faculty members, is the largest of the colleges and universities in Greensboro. Founded in 1891 as a women's school, it became coeducational in the fall of 1964. Undergraduate degrees are offered in more than 100 fields, and graduate and professional degrees are granted in more than a dozen areas of study.

The city's other state university, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A & T), was founded in 1891 as a land-grant institution offering agricultural and mechanical training to African Americans. In 2004 more than 10,000 students were enrolled at the university. Known for its nationally accredited engineering department, the university offers undergraduate and master's degrees in a half dozen engineering specialties.

The oldest college in Greensboro, Guilford College, is also one of the city's most respected institutions. Founded in 1837 by the Religious Society of Friends, or Quakers, Guilford is the third oldest coeducational institution in the United States. Majors are offered in more than three dozen areas, ranging from accounting to criminal justice to women's studies.

One year after Guilford College was founded, Greensboro College opened its doors, becoming the third college chartered for women in the United States. It became coeducational in 1954. Located in the historic College Hill area, Greensboro College today is a Methodist-affiliated institution with 1,300 students that emphasizes individual attention (student-teacher ratio is 14:1) within a traditional liberal arts framework.

Rounding out the private liberal arts colleges in Greensboro is Bennett College, which opened in 1873 as a school for the children of former slaves, and became a women's college in 1926. Bennett is still for women only and is affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Among the most popular areas of study for its approximately 600 students are interdisciplinary studies, biology, and business administration.

A wide variety of opportunities, from career exploration to high-technology business training, are offered through Guilford Technical Community College (GTCC), which has a main campus in nearby Jamestown and satellite campuses in downtown Greensboro. Established in 1958, GTCC is the third largest public two-year college in the state and has a student body in excess of 11,000 along with nearly 21,000 in continuing education programs. The college provides important training to the local work force.

The Greater Greensboro Consortium (GGC) provides the unique opportunity to degree-seeking students of the eight participating institutions in the metropolitan area (Bennett College, Elon College, Greensboro College, Guilford Technical Community College, High Point University, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (A & T), and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro) to take classes at any of the schools that meet specific criteria.

Libraries and Research Centers

The Greensboro Public Library, opened in 1902, consists of a central facility (founded in 1998) and six branches, has some 541,000 books and more than 17,000 serial volumes in its collection, as well as audio tapes and video tapes, CD ROMs, DVDs, slides, maps, and art prints. All locations have computers with Internet access (about 200 in total) and some provide classes. Special collections are maintained in the areas of business and management, local history, and genealogy; resources are available for the use of nonprofit agencies.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is the home of the 220,000-square-foot Walter Clinton Jackson Library. It maintains more than 3.4 million items featuring 700,000 federal and state documents and 5,100 serial subscriptions.

Several research centers are based in Greensboro; most are affiliated with either the University of North Carolina at Greensboro or North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University. The topics under investigation include business and economics, transportation, nutrition, semiconductors, and the effects of social, economic, and cultural deprivation. The city also boasts a Center for Creative Leadership that has a variety of programs geared toward the development of leaders in the business world.

Public Library Information: Greensboro Public Library, 219 N. Church St., Greensboro, NC 27401; telephone (336)373-2471

Greensboro: Convention Facilities

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Greensboro: Convention Facilities

The city-owned Greensboro Coliseum Complex, the largest facility of its kind in the state, seats 23,500 people in its Coliseum Arena; the War Memorial Auditorium has 2,376 seats. The special events center has 120,000 square feet for trade and consumer shows featuring three wings, a pavilion, and 12 meeting rooms while seating 4,300 for concerts and sporting events. The smaller Town Hall theater has 298 seats.

Greensboro is home to the largest privately owned, self-contained hotel-convention complex between Washington, D.C. and Atlanta, and boasts more than 8,600 total hotel rooms. In addition, there are a number of private and public meeting areas.

The largest hotel-convention complex is the more than 1,000-room Sheraton, which includes about 250,000 square feet of meeting space and 100,000 square feet of exhibition space with 75 meeting rooms, located adjacent to the three-level Four Seasons Town Centre mall with more than 200 shops and restaurants and a multi-theater cinema. The hotel's largest meeting area, the 40,000-square-foot Guilford Ballroom, can accommodate in excess of 4,000 people for a banquet or 6,000 people for a meeting with full trade-show capabilities.

The Greensboro-High Point Marriott Airport hotel, adjacent to Piedmont Triad International Airport, provides a convenient meeting place for groups arriving by air. With 296 guest rooms and 14 meeting rooms, the Marriott can accommodate large groups in its 9,850 square feet of meeting space.

Grandover Resort and Conference Center features 45,000 square feet of meeting space, including a 13,500-square-foot ballroom. Hotel amenities include 274 guest rooms and two championship, 18-hole golf courses designed by David Graham and Gary Panks.

Also in the heart of downtown is the Biltmore Greensboro Hotel, a charming meeting location for small groups. The inn, which dates to 1895 and originally housed corporate offices for Cone Mills, today is a 23-room hotel furnished with eighteenth-century reproductions. A maximum of 80 people can be accommodated for meetings.

Meeting space is available at many other local facilities, including the Embassy Suites Hotel Greensboro Airport; the Carolina Theatre; in the 1840s Blandwood Mansion and Carriage House. Kepley's Barn had featured a rustic country atmosphere for events and was located near the airport; it burned down in 2001 and in 2005 discussions continued by the city's planning department regarding a new 29-acre area that would include the rebuilding of the barn. The Conference Center at Bryan Park can handle business or social events in its 22,000-square-foot facility overlooking the championships golfing greens.

Convention Information: Greensboro Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, 317 S. Greene St., Greensboro, NC 27401-2615; telephone (336)274-2282; toll-free (800)344-2282; fax (336)230-1183; email [email protected]

Greensboro: Population Profile

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Greensboro: Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents

1980: 951,000

1990: 1,050,304

2000: 1,251,509

Percent change, 19902000: 19.2%

U.S. rank in 1980: 44th

U.S. rank in 1990: 45th

U.S. rank in 2000: 36th

City Residents

1980: 155,642

1990: 185,125

2000: 223,891

2003 estimate: 229,110

Percent change, 19902000: 20.9%

U.S. rank in 1980: 100th

U.S. rank in 1990: 88th

U.S. rank in 2000: 88th (State rank: 3rd)

Density: 2,138.3 people per square mile (in 2000, based on 2000 land area)

Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)

White: 124,243

Black or African American: 83,728

American Indian and Alaska Native: 989

Asian: 6,357

Native American and Other Pacific Islander: 89

Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 9,742

Other: 4,647

Percent of residents born in state: 57.8% (2000)

Age characteristics (2000)

Population under 5 years old: 14,214

Population 5 to 9 years old: 14,606

Population 10 to 14 years old: 13,620

Population 15 to 19 years old: 16,773

Population 20 to 24 years old: 22,183

Population 25 to 44 years old: 37,483

Population 45 to 54 years old: 33,296

Population 55 to 59 years old: 28,068

Population 60 to 64 years old: 9,621

Population 65 to 74 years old: 13,607

Population 75 to 84 years old: 9,400

Population 85 years and older: 3,572

Median age: 33.0 years

Births (2003)

Total number: 3,394

Deaths (2003)

Total number: 1,916 (of which, 33 were infants under the age of 1 year)

Money income (1999)

Per capita income: $22,986

Median household income: $39,661

Total households: 92,084

Number of households with income of . . .

less than $10,000: 8,481

$10,000 to $14,999: 5,512

$15,000 to $24,999: 13,154

$25,000 to $34,999: 13,635

$35,000 to $49,999: 16,054

$50,000 to $74,999: 17,254

$75,000 to $99,999: 7,674

$100,000 to $149,999: 5,967

$150,000 to $199,999: 2,035

$200,000 or more: 2,318

Percent of families below poverty level: 8.6% (38.8% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 15,128

Greensboro: Communications

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Greensboro: Communications

Newspapers and Magazines

Greensboro's major daily (morning) newspaper is the News & Record. Several weekly or biweekly newspapers are published in Greensboro, including Carolina Peacemaker, for the African American community, and The North Carolina Christian Advocate. Several magazines and journals are published in Greensboro, including Elegant Bride, Carolina Gardener, two in-flight magazines, and other literary, collegiate, and children's publications.

Television and Radio

Four commercial television stations broadcast from Greensboro. Several other stations are based in nearby towns and serve viewers in the entire metropolitan region. Additional stations are available via cable. As for radio, 11 stations offering entertainment that ranges from eclectic, top 40 and classical music to news and talk shows broadcast to area listeners.

Media Information: News & Record, Landmark Communications, PO Box 20848, Greensboro, NC 27420-0848; telephone (336)274-5476; toll-free (800)553-6880

Greensboro Online

City of Greensboro home page. Available

County of Guilford home page. Avaiilable

The Depot (Piedmont Triad, NC). Available

Downtown Greensboro. Available

Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Available

Greensboro Chamber of Commerce. Available

Greensboro Historical Museum. Available

Guilford County Public Schools. Available

News and Record. Available

Selected Bibliography

Redding, Sarah and Sherry Roberts, eds., Greensboro: A Portrait of Progress (Montgomery, Ala.: Community Communications, 1998)

Thompson, Deanna, L., and Sherry Roberts, Greensboro: A New American Metropolis: A Contemporary Portrait of Greensboro, North Carolina (Greensboro: Community Communications, 1991)

Wolff, Miles, Lunch at the 5 & 10 (Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 1990)


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Greensboro: Introduction
Greensboro: Geography and Climate
Greensboro: History
Greensboro: Population Profile
Greensboro: Municipal Government
Greensboro: Economy
Greensboro: Education and Research
Greensboro: Health Care
Greensboro: Recreation
Greensboro: Convention Facilities
Greensboro: Transportation
Greensboro: Communications

The City in Brief

Founded: 1808 (incorporated 1829)

Head Official: Mayor Keith A. Holliday (since 1999)

City Population

1980: 155,642

1990: 185,125

2000: 223,891

2003 estimate: 229,110

Percent change, 19902000: 20.9%

U.S. rank in 1980: 100th

U.S. rank in 1990: 88th

U.S. rank in 2000: 88th (State rank: 3rd)

Metropolitan Area Population

1980: 951,000

1990: 1,050,304

2000: 1,251,509

Percent change, 19902000: 19.2%

U.S. rank in 1980: 44th

U.S. rank in 1990: 45th

U.S. rank in 2000: 36th

Area: 109.25 square miles (2000)

Elevation: 897 feet above sea level

Average Annual Temperature: 57.8° F

Average Annual Precipitation: 50.24 inches (3.8 inches of snow)

Major Economic Sectors: manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, services

Unemployment rate: 4.7% (December 2004)

Per Capita Income: $22,986 (1999)

2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 15,128

Major Colleges and Universities: University of North Carolina at Greensboro, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University

Daily Newspaper: News & Record

Greensboro: Transportation

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Greensboro: Transportation

Approaching the City

Greensboro is proud of its convenient and efficient transportation network. The city is located at the juncture of two major arteries, the east-west Interstate 40 and north-south Interstate 85, and major U.S. and state highways lead in all directions. In addition to cities served directly by I-40 and I-85, those highways provide connections to other major arteries throughout the region and the nation, such as Inter-states 77, 75, 81 and 95, leading virtually anywhere along the eastern seaboard.

The Piedmont Triad International Airport (PTIA) terminal, located only minutes from downtown, is served by seven major airlines and had more than 1.3 enplaned passengers in 2004. Travelers can also catch the train in Greensboro; Amtrak trains going north and south stop daily at the Greensboro station.

Traveling in the City

The smooth traffic flow in Greensboro, which often amazes newcomers, gives Greensboro the feel of a smaller city. It is an impression that has been carefully created through years of planning that began when the city developed its transportation plan in the 1950s. As development has taken place over the years since then, planners have kept pace to meet city needs. One key to Greensboro's smooth-flowing traffic is Wendover Avenue, an expressway that takes motorists from I-40 on the west through Greensboro to U.S. 29 on the east in a matter of minutes. Many of the city's other major thoroughfares are four-lane. The Greensboro Urban Loop is a prominent project in progress that literally links several highways on the perimeter of the city limits. One portion, the Southern Urban Loop, opened in February 2004 while the Western Urban Loop is slated for completion in 2007. Part of the Eastern Urban Loop was operational in May 2002; however, most of the work is expected to wrap up by 2010.

Good public transportation is provided by the 27 buses of Greensboro Transit Authority. Special bus service for elderly and handicapped persons is provided through Specialized Community Area Transportation (SCAT).

Greensboro: Health Care

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Greensboro: Health Care

From lifesaving open-heart surgery to the newest diagnostic technologies, Greensboro is a city where advanced medical technology is available. The city and surrounding area has specialized and general physicians, representing virtually every specialty and most subspecialties. Four acute-care hospitals and a psychiatric hospital offer a combined total of more than 1,100 beds.

The Moses Cone Health System provides most of the health care in the Greensboro area. It offers a complete range of medical and surgical services. There are five hospitals in the system with more than 7,000 employees. The largest hospital is the 535-bed Moses H. Cone Memorial Hospital, founded in 1953, which has a national reputation for cardiovascular research. The Wesley Long Community Hospital is a modern 204-bed hospital that features a regional cancer center. The 134-bed Women's Hospital of Greensboro is the only free-standing hospital dedicated to women's services in the area. The 110-bed Annie Penn Hospital provides specialty services such as a cancer center and sleep center and is located 20 miles north of the city. The Behavioral Health Center supplies 80 beds50 for adults and 30 for childrento assist those with mental health issues. A 124-bed acute care facility, Kindred Hospital Greensboro, focuses on patients requiring more extensive treatment for pulmonary problems and those who are ventilator-dependent while partnering with regional hospitals.

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