ECSU holds ribbon cutting ceremony for Viking Tower
Kesha Williams September 12, 2012
Elizabeth City State University administrators, faculty, staff, students, trustees
and guests gathered on Saturday, Sept. 8, 2012, for the ceremonial ribbon cutting
marking the opening of Viking Tower.
The three-story, 210-bed residence hall houses students in suites that include private
bedrooms, some double-occupancy rooms, an exercise room, laundry rooms on every floor
and computer labs. Architect Anthony Hunt of Millennium 3 Design Group based in Charlotte,
N.C., said he was thrilled to work on the project.
"Students are looking for modernization, innovation, computer technology in their
residence halls. They want residence halls that offer modern social spaces or common
areas and a good selection of amenities. Students want conveniences," Hunt said. "I'm
proud to say this was a project that involved a black architect, a black university
and black contractor -- a first mind you -- for a $12.6 million project."
Viking Tower is located on the northeast quadrant of the ECSU campus behind Bias Hall.
It sits in the heart of campus near The Promenade, where many student activities are
held, and a short distance from Johnson, Lane and Moore halls, where numerous classes
Owen Burney Jr., owner of Burney and Burney Construction Co. and the contract manager
said he was especially proud to deliver to students a new residence hall so closely
located to classrooms and to the center of campus. He said Viking Tower is far different
from the simple structure he lived in as an ECSU freshman in 1973. That year, he met
fellow student Clayton C. Peele Sr., who would remain his friend until Peele's death
in June 2012. Peele served as Viking Tower's project manager. Burney said the building
also brought together a diverse group of laborers to the construction site for jobs
that are important to the state's economy.
"We were proud to do this project for the university. In the past, Burney and Burney
completed some building renovations and some additions to buildings for ECSU. We really
enjoyed building a new residence hall where we knew students could form friendships
that last decades," Burney said. "While we've completed residential and commercial
projects for many other clients in North Carolina, Burney and Burney is proud to see
this project completed on ECSU's campus."
ECSU Chancellor Willie J. Gilchrist said he was pleased to see the project complete
in time for the start of the fall semester. The completion of the new residence hall
ended the need for the university to house students off campus over the last four
years. ECSU now houses 1,542 students in 10 university residence halls.