March 23, 2017
East Carolina University welcomed guests for a sneak peek of the new Health Sciences Student Center during a ribbon-cutting ceremony March 23. It is the first stand-alone student center on a medical campus in North Carolina and one of the few in the United States.
Chancellor Cecil Staton joined Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Virginia Hardy to mark the long-anticipated addition to ECU’s growing health sciences campus. Hardy referred to the student center as the new jewel in ECU’s pirate chest.
“This facility is where students and faculty get together outside of the classroom to do collaborative work,” said Hardy. “Our student centers are the first buildings prospective students visit and they make a lasting impression.”
The $34 million, three-story facility will have a 20,000-square-foot recreation center and 2,000-square-foot event room. Additionally, a convenience store, three dining facilities and satellite offices for services such as parking and student health will be located inside.
“This building will be an anchor and a cornerstone on campus,” said Staton as he addressed the crowd gathered in front of the new building. “It will help ensure we continue to be a leader in producing top quality health care leaders that will serve in our region and beyond.”
After the ribbon-cutting, guests were invited to tour the facility to see the finished product. ECU students, staff, faculty and community members walked through the lounge areas, basketball court and by the slide that will take visitors from the third to the second floor.
Third-year dental student Robert Barton said, “I believe the student center will prove to be an invaluable resource for those on the health sciences campus and main campus. It will truly serve as a catalyst for great things to come.”
Staff will begin moving into the building in April and it is expected to open to the ECU community on May 1.
The Health Sciences Student Center is the first of two student centers being constructed at ECU to open. The second is under construction on main campus and will open in 2018.