Richmond Chamber of Commerce 2018 - Page 32

Preserving for Future Generations When he stood to address the Board of Regents in April 2017, EKU President Michael Benson predicted that the coming fall semester would be “as exciting a time at EKU as we’ve seen the last two or three decades.” He was referring to the opening of the second phase of the University’s Science Building, now the largest such facility on any college campus in the Commonwealth; two new suite-style residence halls fi nanced by a public-private partnership; an Eastern Scholar House for single parents pursuing higher education at EKU or other institutions, in partnership with Kentucky River Foothills and others; and various improvements to athletics facilities, fi nanced by agency bonds. As for the excitement evident at dedication ceremonies for those facilities, well, it’s just the beginning. Th e University is in the midst of a campus revitalization initiative designed to transform the living and learning experience for its students, and several more projects are under construction or in the planning stages. Concurrent with the campus improvements, the University is further maximizing the value of an EKU degree by enacting a tuition freeze for 2018-19. “Holding tuition steady for the next year is our way of telling students and their families, ‘We hear you,’” Benson said. “It is a small fi rst step, but an important one, in our quest to provide value to students and a qualifi ed workforce for the Commonwealth. Moving forward, we will continue to develop and defi ne the EKU Advantage, with a focus on preserving for future generations what has always been an aff ordable and unsurpassed educational experience.” “Th ese improvements (and many others) will transform the way members of the campus community learn, live and work together, and even change the way others perceive us,” Benson said. 32 Richmond Chamber of Commerce As for ongoing and planned construction projects: • Case Dining Hall, fi nanced by Aramark Educational Services LLC, the campus dining vendor, opens in January 2018. • With the opening of Case Dining Hall, renovations to the Powell student union facility will begin, with expected completion in 2020. • Across the street, a new Student Recreation and Wellness Center is under construction and expected to open in Fall 2019. • A pedway across the Eastern By-Pass is expected to be completed by Fall 2018. Th e dining hall, rec center and pedway are all fi nanced by a student special use fee.