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What's new on Campus? North Recreational Complex


Imagine a place where East Carolina University students can kayak, walk, play sports, and participate in team building exercises on a ropes course.

Travel about 10 minutes from Main Campus on Highway 264, and you will spot every student's dream—the ultimate recreational complex, complete with a six-acre lake and eight lush, green multipurpose fields available for club and intramural sports.

This recreational paradise is the North Recreational Complex (NRC), a facility operated by Campus Recreation and Wellness (CRW) at East Carolina University.

Recently, construction workers have been hard at work with Phase II additions to the NRC. These additions include a sandy beach area, boathouse, sand volleyball courts, walking trails, outdoor fitness equipment, horseshoe pits, the Odyssey Challenge Course, and an 18-hole disc golf course.

Certainly, Phase II, slated for completion by the end of July, will enhance this complex that is such an integral part of CRW.

One of the newest additions, the Odyssey Challenge Course, is a linear-based, high-challenge ropes course. This course truly focuses on team building, according to Eric Gardner, leadership and team training specialist for CRW.

"This course will encourage participants to push their limits and to think about how they interact with other people," he said. "They will be challenged in these situations where they are a little out of the comfort zones, and we will be able to see how they react, support, help each other, and communicate as they go through the course."

Gardner says participating in the course will be highly beneficial to students.

"This course will help students from any group whether it be a sorority, fraternity, honors society, or athletic team, strengthen the bonds of their group members, and everyone who participates will experience interpersonal growth," he said.

Janis Steele, associate director for facilities at CRW, said the NRC is a great resource for students, and these Phase II additions will give a whole new dimension to the facility.

"It's important to offer students a facility like the North Recreational Complex because the opportunities offered here will help them round out their overall educational experiences," she said. "A lot of their education obviously occurs in the classroom, but much of what students learn at the university, like social and leadership skills, actually occurs outside of the classroom. The intramural activities, team, and club sports offered here will address some of those needs."
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David Gaskins, associate director of programs and marketing at CRW, echoed Steele's thoughts about the importance of the facility to students.

"North Rec is a place where people can relax, refresh, and enjoy being a part of East Carolina University," said Gaskins. "In addition, we will do a lot of programming here that will provide practical experience for students and will complement everything they are learning in all different types of academic disciplines."

Other enhancements to NRC are planned for the future, and Phase III of the project includes adding several large softball fields.

NRC also hopes to work with the College of Technology and Computer Science to build a Construction Research Teaching Laboratory (CRAFT). According to Steele, this hands-on lab will benefit students by adding an applied aspect to their studies. The lab will allow students to learn about site layout instruction, heavy equipment operator and safety training, and basic equipment maintenance.

Additionally, a leadership center is on the horizon for NRC's future. The purpose of this center will be to facilitate academic programs and services in support of the CRAFT Lab to include classes, workshops, seminars, as well as similar functions for private entity use. In addition, the leadership center will be designed to provide access and support for CRW's leadership development programs, meetings and workshops as well as providing access to other leadership development programs identified throughout the university.

This center, hopefully a collaborative effort between CRW and construction management, will be instrumental for students, said Steele.

"ECU is the leadership university, so here at Campus Rec and Wellness, we try to stay in line with the university's mission and goals," she said. "A lot of what we can do, whether it be through student employees, officers, or just being part of a team, is to help people develop future leadership and interpersonal skills."

By Meagan Williford
University Marketing
6-22-11

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