Incoming East Carolina University students and their families pushed carts and lugged boxes across campus Aug. 19 on the first day of residence hall move-in for the fall semester. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


Incoming students move in as new Gateway residence hall opens

Aug. 19, 2015

By Crystal Baity
ECU News Services

The first new residence hall to open in about 10 years at East Carolina University welcomed students pushing hand carts and lugging plastic storage bins on Wednesday morning.

Hundreds of students and their family members converged on College Hill at Gateway East and West residence halls on Aug. 19, the first day for fall move-in.
Gateway Fast Facts

Total square footage 208,077

Total cost - currently $51,609,138

731 beds:
In rooms - 724
In apartments - 7

136 toilets:
In rooms - 124
In public spaces - 11 + 1 urinal

136 sinks:
In rooms - 124
In public spaces - 12

24 study lounge rooms

8 stairwells

128 bathrooms
In halls -  34
In suites - 88
In public spaces - 6

About 5,800 of ECU’s projected 27,800 total student body will move into 16 residence halls through Sunday. Classes start Aug. 24.

Outside the five-story Gateway West, Pattie Leveston and Lynette Fulford waited with an assortment of boxes as their sons, Jerman Leveston and Laettner Fulford, carried other belongings to their new room.

Best friends since 8th grade, the 18-year-old freshmen from Walstonburg were looking forward to settling in on the fourth floor. “We’re both pretty prepared,” said Laettner, who is an intended business administration major.

“I think we got lucky, definitely,” Jerman said about living in a brand new residence hall. 

Jerman, who plans to major in art with a concentration in graphic design, will be the first Pirate in the Leveston family. Pattie said they had prepared a little bit along the past few months so they wouldn’t have to do everything at the last minute. They loaded the car Tuesday night so they could leave for Greenville early.

Three of Lynette Fulford’s five children are Pirates.

“I cried all the way here because he’s my baby,” Fulford said about Laettner. Her daughter, Cameron, is an ECU sophomore who will move in an off-campus apartment Thursday. An older son, Matt Howard, who teaches music at J.H. Rose High School in Greenville, graduated from ECU with a bachelor’s and master’s degree.

ECU students share their thoughts on moving into the new Gateway residence hall. (Video by Kevin Treadway and Bryan Edge)
Walking to the elevator was Apex High School graduate Lane Shoffner, his dad, Dave, mom Kate and younger sister Julia.

“It’s still got that new hall smell,” said Dave Shoffner as he pushed a loaded hand cart.

“We had seen it under construction at orientation and seeing it finished is amazing,” said Lane, a freshman. “I’m overwhelmingly excited and feeling very lucky to be here.”

Gateway “has beautiful amenities,” Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Dr. Virginia Hardy said at a morning news conference held in the courtyard outside the new residence halls, which will house 732 students.

The new Gateway Complex replaces Belk Hall and is part of an ongoing revitalization of College Hill.

“It has single rooms. It has double rooms. It has suites. It has several small and large rooms for group meetings,” she said.

Hardy also noted that Gateway offers several study spaces, a conference room, a community kitchen and two sound-proof music practice rooms.

Continue reading below slideshow.

With assistance from a number of ECU volunteers, ECU students began moving in Aug. 19. (Photos by Cliff Hollis)

“We wanted this to be a place for (students) to be able to live and enjoy living here,” she said.

Hardy said Gateway will be home to 14 of the 17 ECU Living-Learning communities, including music majors and students in the Honors College.

This week on campus

Wednesday-Sunday: Move-in continues in the three university resident neighborhoods – College Hill, West and Central Campus.

Thursday: Honors College Service Day, 9 a.m. to noon, throughout Pitt County. Incoming Honors College students will spend their first full day at ECU giving back to the community with nine non-profit organizations including:

  • GO-Science: Conducting hands-on experiments to get children excited about science or STEM courses in support of GO-Science’s mission. The event is open to the public.

  • Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina: Bagging produce

  • Habitat for Humanity: Construction

Friday: ECU Alert test at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m., across campus. The university will test its alert system, including outdoor speakers. Testing will continue on Saturday at 12 p.m. and 3 p.m.

Sunday: Student Convocation with ECU graduate Scott Avett of the Avett Brothers speaking, Minges Coliseum at 4:30 p.m., followed by Pirate Palooza, a welcome back event for students, 6 p.m., Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. Student ID required.

Monday, Aug. 24: First day of classes.
Living-Learning communities are composed of students who share academic goals and interests. The communities are designed to assist in the transition to a large university and offer educational and cultural programs that connect classroom learning with residence hall life.

ECU received a record number of freshman applications this year, Associate Provost for Enrollment Services Dr. John Fletcher said. About 19,800 applied, up about 2,000 from last year, he said. About 4,400 will attend.

The greater number of applicants meant ECU could be more selective in choosing who to admit, Fletcher said.

“This class of freshmen will be the best prepared in ECU history,” he said.

Freshman Demetrius Booker of High Point plans to major in biology. He picked ECU because ‘I felt like I was at home when I came for the tour,” he said. “I’m looking forward to making excellent grades, making new friends and friendships and a great experience overall.”

Also new to campus this fall are about 1,800 transfer students, Fletcher said.

Among those is Alison Couse, a sophomore from Trinity, who transferred from Randolph Community College in Asheboro.

Couse, an elementary education major, chose ECU because of the College of Education and its reputation for preparing excellent teachers.  “I’ve heard some people have five or six job offers when they graduate,” Couse said.

She would like to teach second grade and intends to get a master’s degree in special education. She worked this summer at Camp Ann, a day program for children and adults with developmental disabilities held at High Point City Lake Park in Jamestown. “She loved it,” said her mom, Glorie Couse.

- Steve Tuttle contributed to this story.

ECU Pirates shared their excitement about move-in day with friends and family on social media. Some of their comments and photographs are posted below.