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ECU Opens New Main Campus Student Center




After 15 years of dreaming, planning and building, the new 220,000-square-foot Main Campus Student Center at East Carolina University is now open.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held in front of a large crowd who packed the outdoor area at the corner of 10th and Charles streets to get the first glimpse of the impressive building that many have watched transform from a large hole in the ground to a beautiful, modern building that will serve generations of students for years to come.

• The new building replaces Mendenhall Student Center, which opened in 1974.
• The Main Campus Student Center project includes the student center, a 720-space parking deck and chiller plant.
• The new student center is part of the $170 million ECU Student Centers Project that includes the Health Sciences Campus Student Center, which opened in May 2017.

“This center is one of the finest in the nation – if not the best."
-Chancellor Cecil Staton

The center will be the beginning point for campus tours, becoming the first place that parents and prospective students visit, Chancellor Cecil Staton said during the grand-opening event.
“I predict it will be a place where the deal will be closed and students will become future Pirates," he said.

Facility Facts
• Groundbreaking for the new facility was held in November 2015
• 220,000 square feet, the equivalent of four and a half football fields
• Cost of approximately $122 million
• Electrochromatic glass allows windows automatically tint according to the weather.
• 14,000-square-foot grand ballroom that can hold 1,900 guests
• 250-seat black box theater
• 10,000-square-foot commons area
• Game room with three online gaming stations and nine billiards tables.
• Nine meeting rooms and multipurpose rooms
• Architectural and design aspects that incorporate ECU traditions, history and branding
• LEED certified

“Trust me – our students are going to live in this space. This is a game changer. This will change the culture of our campus.”
-Dr. Virginia Hardy, vice chancellor for student affairs

• The history and traditions of ECU and eastern North Carolina were incorporated into many of the architectural and design elements of the new building.
• Coins are placed throughout the floor of the building depicting the various ECU mascots and logos used over the years.
• A large deck overlooking campus allows students to take advantage of the beautiful weather in eastern North Carolina.
• An outline of eastern North Carolina, including the state’s lighthouses and an X that marks the spot for Greenville, adds a unique touch to the grand ballroom floor.
• Pirate Nation will have the chance to view ECU sporting events on the Pirate Vision outdoor digital display.

Following the ribbon cutting, students, faculty, staff, administrators and guests toured the 220,000-square-foot building.