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University Suites work nearly done

031519 New Chancellor New Look
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Todd Pulley, a facility worker at Elizabeth City State University, paints a post with ECU’s signature royal blue color, Wednesday, March 13. The university is sprucing up the campus with fresh paint and updated signage and by clearing more than 60 trees at a picnic and cookout area near the middle of campus.

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By Reggie Ponder
Staff Writer

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

A major re­pair and ren­o­va­tion project at El­iz­a­beth City State Univer­sity’s Univer­sity Suites will soon be com­plete.

Work on the sec­ond floor at Univer­sity Suites has be­gun and is ex­pected to be com­pleted by the end of the se­mes­ter, Vice Chan­cel­lor for Stu­dent Af­fairs Gary L. Brown told the Stu­dent Ex­pe­ri­ence Com­mit­tee of the ECSU Board of Trus­tees last week.

Res­i­dents of the dor­mi­tory’s sec­ond floor have tem­po­rar­ily been re­as­signed to the build­ing’s third floor while the work is be­ing com­pleted.

Over the years, seals and other mech­a­nisms have failed in se­lect rooms at University Suites. In addition, wa­ter has in­fil­trated the build­ing. The problems have made it dif­fi­cult to main­tain ap­pro­pri­ate hu­mid­ity lev­els in the build­ing, cre­at­ing op­ti­mal con­di­tions for mold.

Years of de­ferred main­te­nance con­trib­uted to the prob­lems, and re­cent weather events, in­clud­ing a hur­ri­cane last fall, ex­ac­er­bated the build­ing’s con­di­tion, uni­ver­sity of­fi­cials said.

The most se­ri­ous prob­lems were on the build­ing’s first floor, where in early Novem­ber a to­tal of 76 stu­dents had to be re­lo­cated either to rooms at the Hamp­ton Inn in Elizabeth City or avail­able rooms on cam­pus.

All stu­dents are now back on cam­pus, Brown re­ported last week.

The work has cost more than $600,000 and is be­ing paid for with re­serves in the hous­ing fund. That fund was re­plen­ished last year af­ter the ECSU Foun­da­tion re­ceived a $20 mil­lion cap­i­tal projects loan from the U.S. Depart­ment of Agri­cul­ture. The loan has funded work at Bias Hall and other projects as well as the re­fi­nanc­ing of Vik­ing Vil­lage.

Josh Las­siter, ECSU’s vice chan­cel­lor for busi­ness and fi­nance, told trustees that the en­tire fa­cil­i­ties team has done a great job on the Univer­sity Suites project, which has been chal­leng­ing in a num­ber of ways.

In ad­di­tion to re­lo­cat­ing stu­dents as needed, the uni­ver­sity also cleaned stu­dents’ clothes and per­sonal be­long­ings that had been af­fected by the wa­ter leaks in the build­ing.

As for the re­mod­el­ing work that’s al­ready been com­pleted at Univer­sity Suites, stu­dents seem to like the new look, Brown said.

“The feed­back thus far has been pos­i­tive,” he said.

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