East Central Community College in Decatur is making several changes to limit the amount of off-campus vehicle traffic moving through campus overnight to further enhance overall safety and security.
Access gates are being installed at both ends of the portion of 10th Street that runs through the center of the ECCC campus. The Town of Decatur recently deeded to the college 10th Street from North 5th Avenue to North 8th Avenue that runs between the academic buildings on the south campus and the athletics facilities on the north campus.
Access gates are also being installed at the north end of Warrior Drive at the campus entrance from Highway 15 and near the ECCC Tennis Complex, and on the south end of North 7th Street between Todd Hall (men’s residence facility) and Davis Hall (science facility) near one of the two campus entrances from Broad Street.
The gates, which will be outlined with reflective material, will be closed from approximately 8 p.m. to 5 a.m. nightly and on extended school holidays. The only entrance to campus during those times will be off Broad Street at North 6th Avenue between the President’s Home and the Arno Vincent Administration Building. North 6th Avenue to 9th Street was recently converted from one-way to two-way traffic to accommodate this change. ECCC campus police will monitor that entrance and also be available to open all other gates in an emergency situation.
Gates will remain open later on nights when the college is hosting public athletics, fine arts, and other events and activities.
The changes will be implemented prior to the start of the Fall 2021 semester on Monday, Aug. 16.
“East Central Community College has one of the safest campuses in the state and in the nation, and these measures only make it more secure, particularly for our resident students,” said ECCC President Dr. Brent Gregory. “As the most residential college campus in Mississippi in terms of percentage of students who reside in on-campus housing, this limits the amount of non-student vehicle traffic moving through campus during the overnight hours while still allowing easy access to students living in one of our residence halls.”
Also as part of the initiative, traffic barriers were installed to close access to campus from North 8th Avenue at EC Way adjacent to The Alumni House and Todd Hall, as well as access through the Winston Hall (men’s residence facility) parking lot off North 8th Avenue. In addition, North 7th Avenue that runs alongside the back of Leake Hall (women’s residence facility), Smith Student Union Building, and Winston Hall has been converted from one-way to two-way traffic.
“There were seven entrances to campus from roads and highways not controlled by ECCC, and these measures will help our campus police better monitor movement on campus during the overnight hours,” said Gregory.