Moore Hall, one ECSU’s most historic buildings, is one of a number of buildings being renovated. Moore Hall renovations, and repairs to the G.R. Little Library, building should be completed by fall 2020.
It’s pretty clear to anyone spending time on the campus of Elizabeth City State University that landscape, and building exteriors and interiors are looking better than ever. And with the recent announcement of a $2 million allocation for more renovations and repairs, the upgrades and beautification are moving forward.
At the Sept. 24 ECSU Board of Trustee meeting, now former vice chancellor for business and finance, Josh Lassiter, announced that the University of North Carolina System Board of Governors recently approved the $2 million allocation for renovations and repairs. Those funds will go toward the ongoing efforts to enhance the campus and improve facilities, said Harley Grimes, ECSU’s interim director of facilities.
“We have not drilled down to specific projects yet,” said Mr. Grimes, referring to use of the new funding. “We are developing a list of activities. What we have to do is look at that list and identify the priorities for the funding.”
Mr. Grimes also presented the trustees with an update on the progress at ECSU. Overall, the efforts to renovate, repair and beautify the campus are moving forward quickly, and with great success.
While there are a number of large projects in the works, two of the biggest are the repair of the G.R. Little Library, and repair and renovation of Moore Hall, one of the campus’s oldest and most historic buildings – constructed in 1922 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Both projects are being funded through a state bond, NC Connect.
Last June, during a Board of Trustees meeting, Mr. Lassiter told the board that the original plan for the institution’s allotted $13 million from the NC Connect bond was to use $8.5 million for the renovation of Moore Hall. In addition, $4.5 million was slated for the renovation of the G.R. Little Library building. But Mr. Lassiter, in his presentation to the board, said that ECSU would likely receive funding from the state for a new, state-of-the-art library building, and ECSU could reduce the amount earmarked for G.R. Little, and increase spending on Moore Hall.
Mr. Lassiter told ECSU trustees that subsequently, the university plans to spend $9.1 million on the Moore Hall renovation and $3.9 million for repairs on G.R. Little. Mr. Grimes says the process for both buildings, which includes contracting the work, is moving forward and he is hopeful the work will be completed by fall 2020.
Bias Hall is another big building renovation on the list and Mr. Grimes reports that it is moving forward, also. He anticipates that if the schedule is met, Bias will be ready by fall 2020.
Other items on the list include the Williams Hall gymnasium, which is scheduled to reopen next week; also a number of “spruce and paint” jobs such as the Fine Arts Center, and the Student Center, are nearing completion.
The outdoor classroom is also another big project that is seeing great progress and a lot of use by students. Mr. Grimes says while there are a few things they hope to do to the area, the walkway and the lighting and the tree clearing have all made a big difference in the environment, as well as creating a safer place for students to gather.
He also said there are plans to place solar powered tables around the outdoor classroom retention pond in the near future. The solar powered tables provide students with a place to gather and charge their electronic devices at the same time.
Other improvement projects have included the renovation of the outdoor basketball court, an interior redesign of the K.E. White Center, the renovation of the bowling alley, and the Khan Planetarium.
Mr. Grimes says students, faculty, and staff will see a great deal of activity around campus, including the upcoming demolition of the Hugh Cale and Doles Halls.