Campus Buildings
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Campus Buildings and grounds


Elizabeth City State University has slightly over 830 acres. More than 100 of them represent the campus proper. About 68 acres comprise the former Farm on Weeksville Road (NC 34); a 639-acre tract is reserved for educational research in Currituck County; and some 37 acres comprise other land holdings designed for residential or expansion purposes.

APARTMENT COMPLEX with normal capacity for 200 persons (including Midgett and Sloan Halls) was completed in 1982. It contains six 2-story structures and two one-story buildings, the latter housing administrative functions and service facilities for residents. All structures are accessible to the handicapped.

ATHLETIC FIELD, (containing a small, cinder-block storage building until 2003), was reworked for practice usage and, in 1984, to create a softball field. It is the remainder of the former site of ECSU’s intercollegiate athletics.

BEDELL HALL CAFETERIA, hexagonal-shaped, air-conditioned cafeteria capable of serving over 2,000 persons, was completed in 1969, renovated in 1986, and named for Mamie Bedell (1909 - 1971), former Food Service supervisor. It has various kiosk style eating areas including refrigeration and storage rooms, bakeries, offices, employees’ dining area; and it is accessible to the handicapped.

BIAS HALL, historic 3-story residence hall  was erected 1938, renovated several times since, and named for John Henry Bias (1879-1939), second president.

BUTLER HALL, historic 3-story residence was erected 1924, had a 1939 addition, and was renovated in 1983 and 1994. Named for John Henry Manning Butler (18__-1944), second teacher at ECSU, it is accessible to the handicapped and contains a director’s apartment.

CARDWELL-HOFFLER BUILDING was erected 1952, renovated 1973, and named for the former university physicians, George Washington Cardwell (1872 - 1942) and Ernest Linwood Hoffler (1883 - 1963), a former trustee. The one-story, air-conditioned building has treatment areas, a security vault, and is accessible to the handicapped.

CENTRAL UTILITY PLANT, online Fall 2004 and a ‘first’ for ECSU, is a 9,706-square foot facility located behind Vaughan Center, with a new pond before it. The Plant consolidates mechanical systems of a majority of the campus via an underground, piped, continuous utility system capable of supporting 25 buildings over the next 15 years.

CHANCELLOR’S RESIDENCE is a 1982 structure replacing the original (ca. 1961), destroyed by fire. Subsequent building and land additions have improved its operational value.

COMMUTER CENTER/BOWLING ALLEY is a one-story air-conditioned brick structure with interior re-design improving recreational facilities for all students. It is accessible to the handicapped and, besides a snack area, contains six bowling lanes; areas for ball and shoe rentals and for pool tables; and a video game room. The center was opened in 1991.


DIXON-PATTERSON HALL erected 1977, air-conditioned, 2-story and named for McDonald Dixon (1898-1984), former Trustee Chairman and named for Bishop Patterson former Industrial Technology Chairman, contains classrooms/labs including those for robotics, mechanical technology, manufacturing, computer networking, electronics, and offices for the Technology Department. It also houses the campus Office of Design and Construction, Special Programs personnel, and CERSER (Center of Excellence in Remote-Sensing Education and Research). CERSER and GEMS resources have many close ties benefiting students and this area of the state. With its elevator, the building is completely accessible to the handicapped.

DOLES HALL, 3-story residence hall with normal capacity of 72, houses women. Erected 1956, it is named for the Rev. John Thomas Doles (1873-1948) and the late Mrs. Mary Deloatch Doles, former faculty members.

VICE PRINCIPAL'S RESIDENCE occupies the historic 2-story, wooden former residence for every CEO of ECSU and their families except Drs. Moore, Burnim, and Gilchrist. Constructed 1923 in honor of then Vice Principal Bias, it was renovated (1992) for the Educational Talent Search Program and was renovated again (2004) via a matched State Historic Preservation grant.

EMERGENCY CALL BOXES are designed for connection with University Police, with a targeted 2-minute response time. Installed in 2000, the boxes have easily visible blue lights over them, to help with locating them during dark hours. They are placed in parking lots adjacent to (alphabetically) the Fine Arts Center, Griffin Hall, Jenkins Science Center, Lester Hall, Residence Hall, Ridley Hall, (former) Student Health Center, Thorpe Administration, and Wamack Hall.

E. V. WILKINS ACADEMIC COMPUTING CENTER (1985) has offices, computer laboratory, storage and vending areas. It is completely accessible to and has provisions for the handicapped. It is named for the Honorable Elmer Vanray Wilkins (1911- 2002), former Trustee Chairman and Mayor of the town of Roper.

FRATERNITY/SORORITY PLOTS located at various campus sites reflect the pride of their respective chapters. They are carefully tended to benefit members and any other persons who wish to relax in these areas.

G.R. LITTLE LIBRARY, air-conditioned, 2-story building, erected 1966 to replace the 1939 structure which the collections outgrew, is named for George Roscoe Little, Sr. (1873-1954), former Trustee Chairman. Renovations of the 1966 structure were completed in 1978 (larger 2-story stack area added), with renovations thereof in 1982 and 1988. Besides stacks and circulation/reading areas, it contains study cubicles, offices and work spaces, display areas, and a 140-seat auditorium added in 1967. It has facilities to provide local CATV programming. With an elevator, the building is completely accessible to the handicapped; there are also provisions for the handicapped. A separate area contains documents of the University Records Center, protected by a fire suppression system. On November 21, 2002, a computer lab in the library was dedicated to the memory of the longtime former librarian, Dr. Claude Willis Green (1938 - 2001).

GAZEBO (erected for aesthetics, February 1989) was razed 2003.

GOLF DRIVING RANGE (with small clubhouse) was established 1972 on a portion of the ‘Farm’. It was doubled in size (1992) with a ceremonial re-opening.

GRIFFIN HALL (constructed 1981 as addition to the Early Childhood Center and formerly entitled Education/Psychology Building) is a large, one-story, air-conditioned structure named for Clarence Walton Griffin (1912- ), former Trustee Chairman. Features include provisions for solar heating. It contains classrooms, offices, storage area, student workrooms, observation areas, learning laboratories, seminar/conference rooms, and learning booths. The building is completely accessible to and has provisions for the disabled.

H. L. TRIGG BUILDING (1939; addition 1969) was built as the institution’s library. It later served as original site of the University Archives (1971), then as the Student Union, and next for administrative operations including the Chancellor’s complex. Thus it was once called “old Thorpe Hall” before being named for Harold Leonard Trigg (1893-1978), third President.

HOLLOWELL DRIVE, a campus thoroughfare, was dedicated February 28, 1965, in honor of Isabella Hollowell (1872-1973), Class of 1896, member of the first class (1892), and a benefactor of the university. Campus renovations (2004) has reduced a portion of its length.

HUGH CALE HALL, 3-story residence hall normally housing 36 students, was erected 1956, renovated 1984, and named for the Honorable Hugh Cale (1835-1910), Black legislator who introduced the Bill establishing the University. It is scheduled for all-male occupancy, 2004 – 2005.

INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY CENTER (2000) is a 2-story air- conditioned, L-shaped structure, which houses the administrative spaces for Information Technology, Academic Computing, Administrative Computing, Center for Teaching Excellence, Distance Education/Virtual College, Interactive Video Services, and Network Services. The facility has five computer labs that are also used for instruction. A faculty Demonstration and Discovery lab; a lecture hall with ceiling-mounted projection integrated with a computer, VCR, and DVD player; computer operations room; student lounge; a video conference room; and two tele-classrooms are present. With an elevator, it is accessible to and has provisions for the handicapped.

JIMMY R. JENKINS, SR. SCIENCE CENTER had ground breaking ceremonies June 14, 1988 and was first utilized upon the January 23, 1990 visit to its Planetarium by Governor James G. Martin. Named for Dr. Jimmy Raymond Jenkins (1943-) ‘65, Second Chancellor and Chancellor Emeritus, it houses the Department of Mathematics, Science and Technology and brings together the central teaching facilities for the areas of Pharmaceutical Science, Biology, Chemistry and Physics. Ranging from one to four stories, its suspended stairway adds to its attractiveness. It has small animal housing; teaching, research and instrumentation laboratories (a safety shower included); student and faculty lounges; seminar; lecture and reading rooms; a computer laboratory; faculty offices; walk-in cold room; the only Planetarium in this section of the state; and adjacent greenhouse. The Curtis Delano Turnage (1945-1995) Auditorium was dedicated during the March 5, 1998 Founders Day ceremonies memorialized Dr. Turnage ‘67, Professor Emeritus and former Biology Chairman.

JOHNSON HALL, 2-story, air-conditioned classroom building, erected 1966 and completely renovated 1988, 2005. It houses offices, class and conference rooms and darkroom complex serving the Department of Language, Literature and Communication, along with offices of the Social Work and University Honors programs, as well as headquarters for The Compass (student newspaper). There is an elevator and provisions for the handicapped. It is named for Evelyn Adelaide Johnson (1909-1995), long-term Faculty member who was Chairman of the Fine Arts Department (now the Departments of Music and Art); Director of the University Choir; author of ECSU’s history (1980); and first Professor Emerita of the institution headquarters for The Compass (student newspaper). There is an elevator and provisions for the handicapped. It is named for Evelyn Adelaide Johnson (1909-1995), long-term Faculty member who was Chairman of the Fine Arts Department (now the Departments of Music and Art); Director of the University Choir; author of ECSU’s history (1980); and first Professor Emerita of the institution.

K.E. WHITE GRADUATE AND CONTINUING EDUCATION CENTER, was named for Kermit E. White (1917-1997), a prominent Elizabeth City dentist and civic leader who served on ECSU's Board of Trustees from 1967-1986. The air conditioned, one story, 20,870 square feet building erected in 1982 currently houses the Office of Graduate Studies, Office of Alumni Relations, and the Small Business and Technology Development Center. The K.E. White Graduate Center can be rented for events such as conventions, conferences, wedding receptions, reunions, etc. and can accommodate up to 450 people.

LANE HALL, erected 1910 and in its original state believed to be the oldest building on campus, once housed all academic and administrative operations of the institution. Modified to become a cafeteria, following new frontage, 1961 renovations improved operational areas for food service while 1973 renovations and air-conditioning converted usage to classrooms, laboratories, offices, and a copy center. Renovations in 1985 under girded Geosciences (since relocated). The structure has provisions for and is completely accessible to the handicapped. The second story rear of the building once held the “Quarterdeck,” first an employee apartment then a small residence for men. The building is named for Frances Lane Bias (1882-1943), wife of the second president. The rear addition was razed and the entire structure rebuilt in 2007.

LESTER HALL, 2-story, air-conditioned building with lecture rooms, classrooms, laboratories, darkroom, and offices is the former home of most campus science instruction. It was erected 1952, renovated 1973, 1985 and 2002. It currently houses the Department of Mathematics and Computer Science and is named for Aurelius P. Lester (1895-1980), former faculty member and registrar.

McLENDON HALL (1981) was formerly designated the Early Childhood Education Center. Named for the late Lucille M. McLendon, former teacher-training supervisor, it houses classrooms and an electronic classroom, Faculty offices, lounges, and facilities for the University’s Laboratory School (including reading pits and kitchen).  Basically an air-conditioned one-story building, there is a second-floor observation deck for the Nursery/Kindergarten area. The facility is completed with an adjacent, fenced playground area. There are provisions for and complete accessibility to the handicapped.

MICKEY L. BURNIM FINE ARTS CENTER (1999) is a 2-story, 55,500 square ft, air-conditioned building. The classroom portion, housing the Music and Art Departments, has labs, offices including Office of the Dean of the School of Arts and Humanities, studios, ensemble rooms, and restrooms. The band room’s name was transferred from Williams Hall and commemorates James Arthur Clark (1890 - 1979), the first bandmaster at the institution, and honors his wife, Nettie Beverly Clark ‘40, dedicated supporter of his efforts. The original dedication took place March 3, 1987.

An amphitheater lies between this structure and the attractive Floyd L. Robinson Auditorium (dedicated in honor of Dr. Robinson, April 7, 2002). The Auditorium portion of the center contains personnel and orchestra lifts and has a seating capacity of 1,007, including its balcony. There are advanced facilities for sound and lighting. The auditorium’s lobby has one elevator and an eye-catching “floating” staircase.  A unique feature of this Center (in addition to the retention pond on its grounds) is art work forming an integral part of its construction - thus far the only campus building with such adornment. Seven metal panels of coated steel, by sculptor Lisa Kaslow, symbolize (left to right) North America, South America (Incas), Europe, Africa, the Mid-East, India, and Asia. They are suspended between columns of the arcade, which connects the buildings in front of its amphitheater.


MITCHELL-LEWIS HALL, 3-story residence hall originally designed for 176 women, was erected 1969, renovated 1987, and named for Edna Harris Mitchell ‘17 (1901-1963) and Eva Jane Lewis (1884-1946), former faculty members. The building was renovated in 2006 and 2007 which added air conditioning.

MOORE HALL, 2-story brick structure, was erected 1922 and an addition built in 1939, is lised on the Nationa Historic Register.   Further renovations and/or interior modifications have recurred (1961, et seq.) with 1988 providing a completely renovated building. The building’s auditorium is equipped with dressing and projection rooms, movie screen, 3-manual organ, and facility to provide local CATV programming. With an elevator, it has provisions for and complete accessibility to the handicapped. Mechanical equipment is computer-controlled, subject to central utility going on line. The structure is named for Peter Wedderick Moore (1859-1934), first President (“Principal”) and first President-Emeritus.

MARION D. THORPE SR. ADMINISTRATION BUILDING (1987) is a 3-story air-conditioned office structure named for Dr. Marion Dennis Thorpe (1932-1983), sixth President and first Chancellor. It houses office suites for the Chancellor, Registrar, Admissions, Student Accounts, Financial Aid, Cashier, Business and Finance, Internal Audit, Legal Affairs, University Advancement and Human Resources.. Provisions for and complete accessibility for the handicapped, an elevator, file rooms, vending area, vaults, a darkroom, programming and exhibit areas, lounges, and conference and storage rooms round out its appurtenances. Mechanical equipment is computer-controlled, pending on-line status for the Central Utility Plant. The adjacent parking area was expanded in 1989.

MELVYN N. AND VONDA REED RILEY WELLNESS CENTER, A Wellness and Fitness Center (completed Winter 2000), is a major addition to R.L. Vaughan Center. It is an 80' x 80' multi-level area for exercise physiology. Handicapped accessible and air-conditioned, it also contains two racquetball courts, a biomechanics laboratory, classrooms, and support spaces such as conference and storage rooms plus shower/dressing facilities.

NATURE TRAIL (Outdoor Classroom, beginning at the rear of Dole Hall) was established in 1974 through the efforts of Professor Emerita Dorothy Elliott Thomas, to expand instructional opportunities for ecological and related studies. Benches and provisions for outdoor repasts have been added. On October 18, 2001, it was renamed in Dr. Thomas’ honor and commemorative trees planted.

PHARMACY COMPLEX: (2010) is $26 million, glass and steel structure, located near the Jenkins Science Center. The facility has three stories and 52,500 square feet of classroom, laboratory and office space. The university's Drug Information Center shares the first floor with undergraduate labs and classrooms, while the second and third floors include the IV simulation and compounding labs and faculty research labs, and classrooms.

PRESIDENT'S HOUSE,  constructed 1923 and formerly known as the “Vice Principal’s Residence,” since it was first occupied by –then Vice Principal Bias, it was renovated (1992) for its current usage and was renovated again (2004) via a matched State Historic Preservation grant.

RADIO TRANSMITTER HOUSING and a 280-foot RADIO TOWER for the university’s public full-service station, WRVS-FM (89.9 - 41,000 watts of “The Obvious Choice”), were erected in 1986. The call letters represent “Wonderful Radio Viking Style.”

R. L. VAUGHAN CENTER, an air-conditioned 2-story building, was constructed in two phases - 1969 (swimming pool portion; renovated 1986); and its large addition (1977), both completely accessible to and having provisions for the handicapped. The complex houses the Department of Physical Education and Health and Department of Athletics. It contains gym, classrooms, dance and exercise studios, computer labs, and offices. There are rooms for laundry, drying, and supplies; training, first aid, therapy, weight, and gymnastics; lockers and showers; and equipment and storage. There are also two trackball and handball courts; a library; physical development laboratories; Olympic-size swimming pool with an observation deck; a gymnasium seating 4,500; public restrooms, spacious lounge area; exhibit and 2nd floor game areas; an elevator and a ticket office. It is named for Robert Louis Vaughan (1928), Professor Emeritus of Physical Education, former Athletic Director and Hall of Fame Basketball Coach, and Department Chairman.

ROEBUCK STADIUM (completed 1982) was dedicated May 10, 1981, in honor of philanthropy by Carrie Manning (1943-1981) and James Samuel Roebuck (1923-), the latter a Trustee Emeritus. Its permanent seating capacity is approximately 3,500. It also contains a 440-yard perma-weather track with 8 lanes; a press box and ticket booths, concession, parking, and storage areas; and restroom facilities. Installation of lights for night events (1987) was a major enhancement.


SEARS BUILDING, “The Ark,” then McLendon Hall, and next the ROTC Building, was once a Rosenwald schoolhouse located elsewhere on campus. Erected in 1921 with renovations in 1957 and 1965, it has housed various operations (hence the “Ark” nickname) including Cosmetology, the Laboratory Kindergarten, and Laundry Services. It was altered in 1981 and renovated in 1985 to accommodate some operations of the Department of Military Science (ROTC). It has provisions for the handicapped.


“SEAT OF KNOWLEDGE,” sculpture located near the entrance to Griffin Hall and depicting President Emeritus Peter Wedderick Moore, is the university’s first such enhancement. It is the creation of Roy Chester Farmer, Art ‘72, and had unveiling ceremonies on September 28, 1987.

TELECOMMUNICATIONS BUILDING (successively ECSU’s first Laundry, then “Pirate’s Den,” followed by “Lighthouse,” Publications Building, “Gallery,” “Students Services,” Student Affairs and Campus Security Headquarters) now houses offices and studios for the campus television station (Channels 18/22). Erected 1923, various renovations accompanied revised building usage. It has provisions for and complete accessibility to the handicapped. A KU-Band satellite dish, installed March 1, 1987, was destroyed by hurricane Isabel. A new satellite dish (also KU-Band) was installed April 1, 2004.

TENNIS COURTS are used for instruction, recreation, and intercollegiate matches. Two were constructed in 1958. Six additional courts were completed in 1980.

THE DISMAL SWAMP WETLANDS: In 1975, ECSU acquired 639 acres of land in the Great Dismal Swamp from the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. The U.S. Department of Education, Title III Program, funded the construction of a half-mile-long Boardwalk and Observation Tower. The U.S. Navy licensed ECSU to construct 900 feet of the Boardwalk over Navy wetlands, in order to reach the university property. The property’s primary purposes are to provide access to a pristine wetland environment and to promote public awareness of the crucial role played by wetlands in the Coastal Plain biome. Without the wetlands, there would be no fishing industry in Albemarle or Pamlico Sounds.

THOMAS L. CALDWELL PHYSICAL EDUCATION CENTER AND FIELD HOUSE was completed (2003) at the east end of Roebuck Stadium with a small parking area, and had a brief formal opening ceremony. The attractive 10,000 square foot structure includes faculty and coach’s offices plus classrooms, storage area, a weight room, and shower, locker, and bathroom facilities.
THOMAS-JENKINS BUILDING (1977), air-conditioned and single-story, with provisions for the handicapped, is the Physical Plant and Police Department (formerly “Security Department”) headquarters and also contains the Recycling Office. It is named for Harvey Loyal Thomas (1922- 2001), once Dean of Men and former long-term Director of the Physical Plant; and Charles Jackson Jenkins (1869-1943), first “Engineer” and former Superintendent of Buildings and Grounds. The building has offices and shops; general and specialized storage rooms; locker and key rooms; a file room and records vault; a kitchenette and identification room. It has access to the DCI (formerly PIN) network; a radio tower; and a fenced area providing vehicle protection. A Warehouse-Storage Annex, completely accessible to the handicapped, was completed in 1983. Small additional storage facilities were added in 1989.

UNIVERSITY TOWER, originally for women, became all-male during 2004 - 2005. It is ECSU’s first four story residence building, air-conditioned, with normal capacity for 198 persons, it was erected Spring 1993, and contains an administrator’s apartment and elevator. It is equipped to accommodate cable television and individual telephone services.

VENDING DEPOT for the sale of surplus university items is the current function of the one-story, wooden former “Admissions Building” (completed 1922). Relocated to its present site, it once housed the infirmary, became a faculty-staff residence, next housed Admissions, then became the site for a proposed student banking center.

VIKING VILLAGE, scheduled for occupancy fall 2004, will be a 159,478-square foot student housing complex with 350 beds. Offering an alternative living environment for ECSU students, the 3-story building is on the south side of Weeksville Road, across from the main campus entrance. The “Village” will have a laundry facility, a meeting room, vending and maintenance areas, office, a full sprinkler system, and two elevators. The large structure will have 175 spaces, sidewalks and landscaping. This building is owned by the ECSU Foundation and managed by ECSU.

WALTER N & HENRIETTA B. RIDLEY STUDENT COMPLEX, Named for Dr. Walter Nathaniel Ridley (1910 - 1966), fifth President and third President Emeritus and Mrs. Henrietta Bonaparte Ridley (1910-), former First Lady and dedicated Student Union advisor is comprised of a two story 34,800-square foot building constructed in 2004, a one story 14,300-square foot building constructed in 1969 and a raised terrace connecting the these two buildings with Bedell Hall (student cafeteria) and the Commuter Center.

The two-story building (Ridley Student Center) houses The Office of  Student Engagement, Commuter Services, Student Government Association, University Information Desk, ECSU Campus Store, The Mary Albritton Douglas Auditorium, student club and organizations, lost and found, television lounge, 2 computer stations, meeting rooms, and a restaurant.  The building is fully ADA compliant and accessible with an elevator.

The one story (Ridley Center) building houses the U.S. Postal Station (since 1995), the Viking Den and the “Blue Room” dining facilities. This attractive, air-conditioned, one-story building has provisions for and accessibility to the handicapped, and is enhanced by a C-Band satellite dish, acquired September 1985.

WAMACK HALL, 3-story residence building with normal capacity for 124 men, was erected 1969, renovated 1981, and named for Timothy Hiram Wamack (1915-1972), former faculty member.

WILLIAMS HALL, 2-story complex (1949) with added wings in 1951 for Physical Education and Fine Arts instruction, plus a Home Economics area. The Laboratory Nursery/Kindergarten was formerly housed here. Renovated several times, it formerly housed the Music Department. With 2003 - 2004 rehabilitation and modernization, the 36,000-square foot facility has become the new home of the School of Business and Economics and continues to house the operations of WRVS-FM radio. With all new finishes and furnishings, a new elevator, and facilities for the disabled, it also has some revisions of its exterior design, modernized electrical, mechanical, and plumbing systems. It also houses the renovated intramural gymnasium along with offices and locker rooms for the Physical Education program. The fountain area in front of the building will become part of the revised campus ‘Greenspace.’ The building is named for Dr. Sidney David Williams (1892 - 1974), fourth President and second President Emeritus.

ECSU’s buildings and grounds are completed with 11 structures and a small Utah land area. The structures are storage barn, four brick residences (1961), and the university’s Water Tower (1995) - all on Weeksville Road. The “Moore Residence” (1922) on College Street and an on-campus former residence having office spaces, which include the Faculty Senate, exist. Two small brick structures for hazardous materials (1980), and a vacant former residence on Herrington Road (awaiting renovations) complete the inventory. No longer existing are the cinder block Art Studio, Bookstore/Central Supply (formerly Maintenance Building), Identification Arch at Parkview Drive campus entrance, 2-story Industrial Training Building, a Pumping Station, 2-story residence (Weeksville Road) incinerated for local Fire Department training, a shed for outdoor storage, a cinder block storage building, and “West Lodge” (Quonset residence for men).

WILLIE and JACQUELINE GILCHRIST EDUCATION AND PSYCHOLOGY COMPLEX, named in honor of ECSU’s ninth CEO and chancellor, Willie J. Gilchrist and his wife, Jacqueline Gilchrist, both graduates of ECSU. The three story, 47,991 square foot building will contain 53 faculty offices, including the Dean's suite, education and psychology chairs and endowed chair offices, two faculty lounges, three conference rooms, 15 classrooms and laboratories as well as a curriculum resource center. All exterior doors and office suite entrance doors will be operated by a key card system. All classrooms will be constructed to support full audio visual conferencing and they will have audio visual display capabilities. Each classroom will be equipped with wall mounted phones for emergency use. Four LCD monitors will be placed in the building--- two will be posted on the first floor while one will be posted on the second and third floor, to display general student information and emergency messages. The building dedication ceremony was held December, 12, 2011.