On March 15 voters will have a chance to make a positive mark on North Carolina’s future by approving the Connect NC bond package. If approved, the majority of this $2 billion project will pay for urgently needed buildings and renovations at UNC system schools and community colleges.
Eastern North Carolina would receive an estimated $300 million, with the impact in the northeast approximately $140 million.
ECU would receive $90 million to build a 150,000-square-foot life sciences and biotechnology building. That STEM-focused resource will be critical to student success and regional transformation, two of ECU’s primary commitments. In 2015, 37 percent of our graduates were in STEM fields.
Approximately 17,000 of our students take biology courses each year. Those courses support our sizable pipeline of health care providers for North Carolina. Improvements will help us grow jobs in the East, particularly in fields such as pharmaceuticals and bioprocessing that have higher than average starting salaries.
We are committed to growing our College of Engineering to 1,000 students by 2019, and this is critical to that growth.
This bond package is good business. The space it provides for life sciences education and research at ECU will significantly increase the university’s $1.8 billion annual economic impact in the East.
Chair, ECU Board of Trustees