In the fall of 2004, College of Human Ecology Dean Karla Hughes met with Greenville Mayor Donald Parrott and other city and East Carolina University officials to discuss the possibility of the college taking a role in the city’s plan to revitalize a 45-block area of the west Greenville community. Mayor Parrott opened the door for a collaborative approach to assisting individuals and families in west Greenville to reach their full potential.
Dean Hughes proposed the establishment of an intergenerational center in the west Greenville community which could, in time, foster programs to benefit the community. Such programs could include a day care, elder care, an after-school program, a health clinic, educational programs, social services and programs that could increase home ownership and promote the development and growth of small businesses in the community.
The IGCC’s mission: To increase home ownership, stimulate small business vitality, create jobs and promote family well-being, we strive to engage residents in west Greenville in the revitalization of the Perkins Town/Cherry View district by providing opportunities for affordable housing and safe and visually rich neighborhoods while preserving the cultural fabric and heritage of the community and improving the quality of life for the residents.
In January of 2009, Dr. Lessie Bass, the first Executive Director and visionary for the Lucille W. Gorham Inter-Generational Community Center, departed this life leaving those behind to carry out the vision. In April of that same year, the IGCC was dedicated and the main building was named “The Lessie Bass Building” in honor of Dr. Bass.