Apex's popularity is largely due to the 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park. The park was established in the 1960s, and had a considerable boom in the 90s with the rise of technological innovation. Some of the biggest companies to have office space at the research park include IBM and Cisco. Because of Apex's proximity to the research park, many in the tech industry have relocated to the area from other parts of the country. However, unlike tech areas on the West coast, like the Silicon Valley, Apex has remained a very affordable place to live. The research park has also had a positive effect on schooling in the area, with programs being implemented like the Academy of Information Technology at Apex High School. Apex is also in the process of opening new schools to accommodate its growth rate. One such school, Apex Friendly High School, has 3-D printers and 70-inch monitors.
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