There are some safety issues needing to be addressed during the renovations of East Carolina University’s Mendenhall Student Center. Besides being in overall poor condition, the building, according to the East Carolinian, public records obtained from university files show the 44-year-old structure in need of various repairs, especially in terms of bringing it up to fire code standards.
“There’s a lot of deferred maintenance that needs to be taken care of,” said Bill Bagnell, associate vice-chancellor for campus operations. “Old aged building utility systems, fire code corrections, some fire sprinkling that needs to be done.”
However, Bagnell said there are no code violations that need immediate attention. On the other hand, Erik Kneubuehl, associate vice chancellor of Student Involvement and Leadership, said he was unaware of any fire code violations.
“I don’t know of any fire codes that we were not in compliance with, because when we find out that we are not in compliance with something, we are usually told in the same email, you need to fix it and we go out and fix it,” Kneubuehl said. “We’ve not, not passed inspection every time. We have inspection reports going back 20 years, where we passed inspections, so if there was something off there, I’m not aware of it.”
Bagnell indicated the long-term plan for Mendenhall is to use it for administrative and academic meeting and office spaces, catering kitchen functions, the radio station and bowling alley.