ECSU breaks ground with Wake Tech on new tech lab

WAKE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Elizabeth City State University and Wake Tech Community College broke ground on a new technology center Thursday in Wake County.

ECSU says the new 106-acre tech center, named Eastern Wake 4.0, will expand unmanned aviation programs offered in North Carolina. The facility will have integrated teaching labs for multiple universities, allowing students to transfer easily and work together on the latest projects.

The university says the labs will support unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) operations and repair, biopharmaceutical technology, intelligent automation, robotics, smart manufacturing, and microelectronics programs.

“ECSU has a long history of aviation education and expertise, and about four years ago, we started developing a comprehensive UAS program,” says ECSU Chancellor Karrie G. Dixon.

ECSU says the Eastern Wake 4.0 training site, which will be located along the I-87/US 64 corridor, is projected to open for classes in the fall of 2023. In 2019, ECSU became the first and only university in North Carolina to offer a bachelor’s degree in unmanned aircraft systems.

The facility will house a technology 4.0 facility where networked integrated teaching labs will make space for student collaboration, as well as a public safety simulation complex, where basic law enforcement training will be offered.

The public safety simulation complex will become the new home of Wake Tech’s EMS program and a new program in UAS, according to ECSU.

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