ECSU upgrades athletic facilities

Vaughan Center, bowling alley being revamped


By David Gough
Sports Writer

Friday, July 12, 2019

Elizabeth City State is in the process of renovating some of its athletic facilities.

As of now, the Robert L. Vaughan Center and the bowling alley have seen the most changes and there still could be more to come.

Athletic director George Bright, who’s been in his role at the university since last July, has been at the forefront of the decision making.

“Our No. 1 goal is to make sure our student-athletes are having a high-level academic and a high-level athletic experience,” Bright told the Daily Advance. “Within the tenants of that is the opportunity to provide them with good places to compete, practice and perform.”

He added that in many cases, athletes remember more the times they spend practicing with their teammates rather than the final score of games. He wants to provide venues that make those moments as special as they can be.

The renovation began in the first few weeks following the turn of the new year, when the lobby of the Vaughan Center started to be repainted.

After basketball season ended in March, the gym was then repainted and refurbished.

It brings a shinier, newer look to the gym and the colors pop out as royal blue, the primary color of the school’s logo.

Brand recognition is one of the keys as to why Bright and the athletic department have gone through with these changes.

“I think branding is critically important as to who we are and it is our brand, so royal blue is our color and to me, that’s the way the facility should look,” he said. “We want to make sure we represent the royal blue and white appropriately.”

One of the slight changes on the basketball court is the white “ECSU” along the baseline, instead of the lettering being in red as it has been in the past.

There’s also a possibility of four overhanging basketball nets along the two sidelines of the court in hopes of having two smaller courts that can be used for practice purposes.

The bowling alley received much more of an overhaul earlier this summer.

Lanes were refurbished and the venue is now in shape for the ECSU women’s bowling team to use for practice.

Now, they can stay on campus to practice as opposed to going to Albemarle Lanes.

ECSU is also hoping to one day be able to host future CIAA bowling meets at the facility.

“The bowling alley had a complete renovation,” Bright said. “I’m sure our bowling athletes will be excited about that when they return.”

Roebuck Stadium, the ECSU football field, could see some renovation soon too, but nothing is certain.

If granted the resources, general upkeep of the stadium could be done.

Bright, if possible, wants to make sure the stadium is in good shape not just for the university but for the community as well.

“People walk and just enjoy leisurely recreation there,” he said. “A lot of people are exercising, running the stadium steps and the track. I think it’s important for our community and it’s important for us to improve that if we can.”

Bright credited Karrie Dixon, who became chancellor of the university in December, for the athletic department being able to revamp some of its facilities.

“I’m very thankful that we have great leadership and our chancellor for helping us see through this vision of improving our facilities,” he said. “It’s not always an easy task and athletic facilities can be expensive fixes.”