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East Carolina University materials management purchasing specialist Tim Daughtry, pictured above, oversaw the conversion of the former Stratford Arms apartment complex to a parking lot across from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. (Photo by Cliff Hollis)

ECU recycles, reuses during parking lot conversion

Aug. 30, 2012

By Doug Boyd
ECU News Services

When football fans set up their tailgating gear at East Carolina University’s newest athletics parking lot, some of them may know they’re standing on the former site of a Greenville apartment complex.

Some might tell a few stories of past Pirate football Saturdays spent there.

But what many of them might not know is the significant amount of work ECU and its contractors did to make the demolition of the 15 apartment buildings as environmentally responsible – or “green” – as possible.

From May through July, contractor ICAN-Cape Fear Site Works of Fayetteville worked with the university to recycle, reuse or sell 77 percent of the waste generated by demolishing the buildings and swimming pool at the former site of the Stratford Arms apartments across from Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium. That means 6,328 tons, of 8,200 total tons of waste, was kept out of landfills.

On a recent afternoon, as water from a recent shower dripped off live oaks, maples and pines onto the ground, the site was a shady respite from the busy roads that border it.

“When the grass gets established, it will be something to be proud of,” said Tim Daughtry, the ECU materials management purchasing specialist who oversaw the conversion of the complex to a parking lot.

Here’s what happened to the buildings and their contents:
  • 6,253 tons of brick and concrete were crushed to be used as a road base for a project on the ECU health sciences campus.
  • 49 tons of scrap metal were sold to recyclers.
  • Eight-and-a-half tons of appliances and 17 tons of windows were sold to be reused.
Before demolition began, arborists identified nine trees that should be removed for health or structural reasons. That left 145 trees of 20 different species on the property, which were protected during the work, said ECU landscape architect John Gill.

ECU students in environment health and the ECO-PIRATES club collaborated to gather signatures nationwide on petitions to save the trees at the complex. The signed petitions were given to Gill at a presentation in an environmental health management and law class. The Environmental Health program is housed in the Department of Health Education and Promotion in the College of Health and Human Performance.

“As you can see when you visit the site, the university is left with a beautiful park-like setting,” Gill said. Fans are allowed to park on the existing pavement, not on the grass. The lot has 250 spaces available to the public for $20 each. All the spaces for Saturday’s season opening game against Appalachian, however, are sold.

ECU bought the property for $3.1 million last year. No state funds were used to purchase the site. No plans exist for the property other than using it for parking, Daughtry said.

A demolition project at Stratford Arms Apartment complex on Charles Blvd. in Greenville was designed to be environmentally responsible. Material was reused or recycled and more than 100 trees were saved. (Contributed photo)

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