ECU to halt operations with Inter-generational Community Center

Published: Dec. 11, 2020 at 9:27 AM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - East Carolina University has announced it will no longer function as the principle financial and operational manager for the Inter-generational Community Center starting Jan. 1.

This comes amid financial and staffing challenges. The university joined the City of Greenville and Pitt Community College as partners in 2006 to help serve the West Greenville community.

Since its creation, IGCC has offered youth outreach and afterschool programs, as well as other community resources.

Residents in the area say they’ve been to the center a couple of times, walking distance for Paul Lanier Sr.

“There are many times that I counted on this community center for my resumes, help me fill out applications, seek for jobs,” Lanier said. “We don’t have transportation, our kids don’t have transportations, no computer access and everything. This virus and everything has turned everything upside down, now they’re taking another loss... crippling this community.”

ECU Intercultural Affairs Director Dennis McCunney said it was a tough decision to part ways.

“With the pandemic really limiting our programming, particularly our after-school programming for the past several months, and our ability to provide staffing over there consistently,” McCunney said.

External grants to ECU that were used to support programs at IGCC have dwindled over the years. In addition, the long-time IGCC director is retiring, and the program coordinator accepted another position outside of ECU.

“Being in a hiring freeze makes it that much more challenging to be able to run a full-service community center with only one full-time support staff person,” McCunney said.

Ronzae Lloyd, 22 who has young cousins, said it’ll be tough to imagine no more programs.

“Ain’t nothing there for kids to do, stuff like that,” Lloyd said.

But McCunney said they’re not leaving entirely. The name of the center will remain and the City of Greenville will plan what to do with the building moving forward.

Some IGCC programs may be supported by certain ECU departments while the university and the city work together to support the center.

“Our partners are invested in West Greenville and new opportunities will take shape,” McCunney said. “So this is sort of a new chapter for IGCC and we’re hopeful for the future.”

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