ECU Trustees vote agains eastward expansion
(May 12, 2000)
The East Carolina University Board of Trustees today (May 12, 2000) voted to halt the eastward expansion of the campus that had been a key feature of the university?s proposed new master plan.
On a 6-3 vote, the trustees approved a motion by Charles Franklin, vice-chair of the board, "to remove from the proposed master plan the area of eastward expansion" bounded by the current campus border, Fifth Street, Elm Street and Tenth Street.
The proposed new master plan, under development for more than a year, has been guided by a need to accommodate an expected enrollment surge of up to 9,000 students in the next eight years. Projections put university enrollment by 2008 at 27,000, up from the current 18,000.
The latest draft of the plan called for acquisition of the property east of the current campus boundary to accommodate academic buildings and a parking deck. Residents of the neighborhood had strongly objected to that aspect of the plan. A delegation from the University Neighborhood Association had argued against the plan at a board committee meeting in March.
The master plan was not on the trustees' agenda for action at today?s meeting. University administrators had planned to present the plan to the trustees for consideration at their July 14 meeting. Instead, Franklin offered his motion near the end of the meeting, under the "New Business" item on the agenda. He said several members of the board had asked him to put the topic on the table for discussion. Joining Franklin in approving the motion were Betty Speir, H.E. "Gene" Rayfield Jr., Thomas Bayliss III, Dan Kinlaw and Brent Queen.
Voting against were D. Jordan Whichard III, Mike Kelly and James Talton. Bob Thompson, director of planning and institutional research at the university, told the trustees that because the eastward expansion was such a critical component of the plan, a revised plan might not be ready for presentation at the July meeting.