Dr. Lynn Roeder, dean of students; Dr. Andrew Morehead, chair of the Faculty Senate; and Dr. Rick Niswander, vice chancellor of administration and finance, sign a construction beam that will be part of the new Gateway Residence Hall on College Hill. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)
'IN THE HOMESTRETCH' ECU holds ceremony for new College Hill residence hall
Heavy downpours didn’t dampen the celebration of a construction milestone for Gateway Residence Hall at East Carolina University on Jan. 12.
At a rainy topping-out ceremony, representatives from ECU and construction contractors signed a beam that will be added to a truss on the roof of the new building.
Slated to open in August, Gateway will house 720 students and will include study spaces, meeting rooms, music practice rooms, lounges, outdoor courtyards, a sand volleyball court and a basketball court. It is the first new residence hall to open on campus in almost 10 years.
“We’re in the homestretch with this project,” said Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs at ECU. “This really will be the crown jewel and capstone for College Hill.”
As its name describes, the hall will serve as a gateway from the campus’s College Hill area - bounded by 10th and 14th streets – to ECU athletic complexes across 14th Street. It replaces Belk Residence Hall, which was demolished last year.
Gateway will be home to several university living-learning communities, where students with the same major or interests live in the same hall, including biology and the Honors College.
“We have a lot to be proud of here,” said Aaron Lucier, director of housing operations at ECU. “This is an amazing addition to College Hill. It truly will be a core part of campus.”
The Gateway East and Gateway West towers will be connected by an enclosed aerial bridge on the second floor, said Gina Shoemaker, the project manager and assistant director of facilities and architectural services at ECU.
“We have started putting up brick on the outside,” Shoemaker said. Windows will be installed soon and the roof will be attached. Once the building is dry, workers can begin installing interior sheetrock, fixtures and mechanical equipment.
If certified, it will be the first residence hall at ECU with Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) certification for building sustainability. “We do have other buildings on campus with that status but no residence halls,” Shoemaker said.
The $58 million building was designed by Davis Kane Architects of Raleigh. Barnhill Contracting Company of Rocky Mount and Raleigh is the construction manager. Contractors include Cooper Electrical Construction Company of Morrisville, Kirlin Mechanical Services of Raleigh, Southern Piping Company of Wilson and Manning Masonry of Williamston.
Approximately 250 people work every day at the site, which has a “construction cam” available at http://oxblue.com/open/ECUBelk to view progress online. “We still have a lot of hard work left,” said Brad Martin, Barnhill manager.
Gateway will be the first residence hall to open at ECU since College Hill Suites in 2006. Before that, no other newly constructed residence hall had opened since the 1960s, although many have had extensive renovations, Shoemaker said.