Ribbon Cutting Ceremony Held for New ECU Health Sciences Student Union

May 8th, 2017

Thursday, March 23rd marked the ribbon cutting ceremony for East Carolina University’s new Health Sciences Student Union. Plans to build the new student union were approved by university officials in 2013. MHAworks is the architect of record for the Student Union for East Carolina University’s (ECU) Health Sciences Campus with Holzman Moss Bottino supporting us. Following the ceremony, faculty and guests could tour the new facility.

The 75,000-square foot student union features three new dining options, a convenience store, nine study rooms and satellite offices for services such as Student Health and Traffic and Parking, among several others. In keeping with ECU’s commitment to physical health as well as mental, the facility also boasts a 25,000-square foot recreation and wellness center, complete with cardio equipment and indoor basketball courts. A glass tower at the northwest corner of the building, known as The Beacon, will serve as the main gathering area for students and the architectural focal point, but it also houses one of the building’s most unique features – a slide from the third floor to the second. And of course, much of the interiors are decked out in ECU’s signature purple and gold.

University officials describe the $34 million project as a “hybrid building,” one that contains centers for both recreation and academics. The student union is the only one of its kind in the entire state, and one of only a few hybrid buildings to be found throughout the entire country. As of May 1st, 2017, The Health Sciences Student Union is open to the East Carolina community.

Check out stills from the construction process by clicking here. These photos offer a firsthand look at how the Health Sciences Student Union came to fruition, and goes as far back as September 2015.

“The Health Sciences Campus Student Center at East Carolina University is a game changer. Not only will the facility bring together the students, faculty, and staff within our four colleges – Allied Health, Nursing, Dental Medicine, and the Brody School of Medicine – but it will also empower these communities around our motto Servire, serving as a home for cultural, educational, social, and recreational activities.

MHAworks has served as a truly invested partner since this projects inception. From focus groups to countless meetings, MHAs team believed in what we were trying to accomplish – to build the first standalone student center on a medical campus in North Carolina.  Their ability to blend modern brick architecture outside with contemporary and colorful ascetics inside has made for a facility that is unlike any other on East Carolina’s campus.

One of MHA’s strengths was their willingness to be creative and to change ideas and concepts as the project developed.  This is a trait that is vital in Public Higher Education, where projects can take many years from idea to completion. This flexibility allowed the community that the building would serve to grow with the building, changing to accommodate new trends and ideas.

MHAworks’ availability, commitment, and creativity gave our institution and our community the facility that exemplifies the East Carolina University’s mission as a leadership university, committed to student success, public service, and regional transformation.”


-Erik J. Kneubuehl, EdD Associate Vice Chancellor