University Suites work nearly done
By Reggie Ponder
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.