ECU, PCC emphasize importance of $2 billion bond on March primary ballot

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High ranking college officials are discussing how a $2 billion bond package on the March primary ballot will impact their higher education institutions.

ECU Chancellor Dr. Steve Ballard and PCC President Dr. Dennis Massey were the featured speakers at Tuesday's Greenville-Pitt County Chamber of Commerce luncheon. They couldn't emphasize enough just how important the bond money would be for both schools and Eastern Carolina.

Residents will vote on the Connect NC Bonds Act in the primary election in March. If it passes, Ballard says northeastern North Carolina - which includes five community colleges and ECU - would receive roughly $140 million.

$90 million would go to East Carolina and Ballard says it would go towards the building of a new Life Sciences and Biotechnology Building.

"This is a very large investment in the future of North Carolina," said Ballard.

Massey says the bond would give Pitt Community College $8.3 million. The money would be used for new construction, repairs and renovations.

"The idea is to create facilities that are going to prepare people for the jobs of tomorrow," said Massey.

Ballard said the goal is to increase the number of life/sciences jobs in Pitt County by 30%.

The McCrory administration proposed the $2 billion bond. They say no tax increases will be necessary to finance the bond.