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Minges Coliseum/Williams Arena

Building History
Other Names: ECC Field HouseMinges
Date Built: 1966
Date Razed:
Cost of Construction: $2,467,671.66
Gross Square Feet: 109,068
Assignable Square Feet: 64,034
Architects: F. Carter Williams

Namesake: The building honors the following members of the Minges family: Mr. and Mrs. M.O. Minges and their children Martha Minges Bass, Forrest, Hoyt, John, Max and Ray Minges. M. O. Minges was the founder of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Co. of Greenville. Since the company was founded it has been a family ran business. In 1966, John Minges, the president of the Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company of Greenville, donated $25,000. This was the largest single private gift ever received by the 58-year-old college. Afterward the ECC trustees' voted unanimously to name the building after the M. O. Minges family, not only for the donation but for the growing support that they offered.

In April 1994, Minges Coliseum was rededicated to Walter L. Williams and became known as Williams Arena. Mr. Williams was the first to donate $1 million for the renovation of the Coliseum. He is also president and founder of Trade Oil Company and has 29 stores throughout North Carolina under the Trade Mart name.

History: Minges Coliseum grew out of plans by the college/university to put ECC athetics further into the national arena. In 1965 the college got the "green light" to advertise the bids after the NC Advisory Budget Commission approved the sale of $1,640,000.00 in bonds to help finance the gym. It had a proposed budget of $2,340,000, $700,000 of which came direct from state appropriation.

Following its construction, Minges Coliseum won several architectural awards including one by the American Institution of Steel Construction, one of only 15 winners nationwide out of 150 etries. Bethlehem Steel produced a promotional brochure regarding the construction of the building. It was dedicated January 27, 1968, at the ECU-West Virgina basketball game. Followed by the game was a dinner party, which include big names such as Mr. Lloyd Jordan, commissioner of the Southern Conference.

In 1994, major renovations were put into place for Minges Coliseum. Almost $11.5 million was spent to replace the playing surface of Minges, add seating to seat 7,500 people, add air-conditioning, new lighting, and new locker rooms.

Additions: 1967 - Parking Lot Addition

1989 - Parking Lot Addition

1994 - $11.4 million was spent in renovations of Minges Coliseum and it was rededicated in honor of Mr. Walter Williams and his generous contribution to the renovations.

1999 - Irwin Belk offered a sculpture as part of an endowment pledge to the school. Jodi Hollnagel, a faculty member of the ECU School of Art, made a 3-ton bronze pirate, standing at least two stories tall, raising his cutlass toward the end zone of Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium, in the plaza right outside of Minges Coliseum.

Joyner Library - ECU

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