Project Category : College/University
Total Construction Cost : $60,000,000
Total Gross Square Feet : 90,627 (Tower); 22,125 (Sports Medicine Building)
Approximate Cost Per Square Foot : $468 (Tower); $168 (Sports Medicine Building)
How was the facility funded? : Athletic department funds
1) Functional Planning
East Carolina University has a vibrant and dedicated fanbase who are eager to support ECU and the student athletes in their efforts to compete at the top of their division on a consistent basis. The existing press box at Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium was outdated and no longer provided the space and technology needed for the caliber of program such as ECUs. Additionally, donors were eager to have additional options for experiencing football games and pre-game activities. TowneBank Tower was designed to address both of these needs. The existing stadium bowl was left intact while the existing press box and Pirate Club was demolished. The new tower was designed to integrate seamlessly with the existing bowl and concourse amenities while providing secure and controlled access to the premier seating spaces and press level. The Trade Club is available for meetings and other events throughout the year, and the entire building is used for special events held at the stadium such as concerts and graduation.
2) Interior Design
Natural lighting is abundant in all donor and staff spaces, and the large expanses of glass provide unobstructed views to the field as well as the rest of the Athletic District. Interior materials were selected to be representative of eastern North Carolina, with wood and gold tones warming up the spaces. Subtle purple and gold accents are scattered throughout and large graphics highlight ECU football and the fan experience.
3) Exterior Design
Thousands of fans and visitors to the campus approach from the south and the existing southern facade of the stadium was underwhelming and did not represent the quality of the ECU athletic program. TowneBank Tower can be seen along the approach to campus from multiple locations and serves as a wayfinding beacon to the stadium. It is a symbol of the significance of ECU Football and commitment of ECU Pirate fans. The exterior building materials were selected to compliment the materials found throughout the ECU Athletic District.
The fan experience begins when the fan steps foot on the ECU campus, so the procession through the site to Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium and TowneBank Tower was a focal point of the design. An existing asphalt and gravel parking lot was renovated into a tailgate lot with 500+ spaces with grass tailgate/tent areas with power and cable. An enhanced fan and player experience is provided with the Pirate Walk at the Howard & Lyn Swain Pirate Promenade when the football team, marching band, and Spirit Squad process through the fans in the tailgate area to the stadium before each home game.
This design achieved the goal of maximizing the amount of high-quality square footage for the ECU staff and donors within the allotted budget. The spaces within TowneBank Tower were designed to be comfortable and efficient and to meet the needs of the fans and staff on game day as well as the remainder of the year.