A building officially opened that represents the work of many and a promise made to advance the college opportunities in Paducah.
University officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony and public tour Tuesday at the new Crisp Center, the Paducah regional campus of Murray State University at 4430 Sunset Ave., which will open to students for the spring semester. School and local leaders commended the effort of the many residents, groups and lawmakers who worked together on the state-of-the-art campus, which started to come to life just over 18 months ago.
"Today begins a new era of higher education," Regent Susan Guess of Paducah said. "Students all across the region now have an opportunity that didn't exist before this moment. Today we celebrate the fair reaching ripples that only an education can provide."
The 43,000-square foot building includes nine general classrooms, five interactive television classrooms, three laboratories, an auditorium, student activities areas, boardroom, mobile offices for adjunct and full-time faculty, and a geothermal heating and cooling system, according to Dean Brian Van Horn of the College of Continuing Education and Outreach.
Van Horn said two rooms currently configured as classrooms can be converted into laboratory space based on student need and demand. The center also includes high-tech smart boards and podiums, touch screens, and video and audio connections between classrooms and professors on the main campus.
"This is Murray State University, it just happens to be in Paducah," Van Horn said. "At the regional campus our students can get the same quality of education. We want this to be a comforting facility where all students feel at home."
The dean also pointed to the building as tailored to the needs of non-traditional students, with classroom sizes ranging from six to 64 students and spaces and computer access for students to complete assignments on campus after a full day at work.
Tiffany Comer, a junior majoring in education, said a general excitement is felt about the many chances for professional and educational progression that the new campus offers.
"Now we feel as much a part of the school as if we were on the main campus," she said. "It brings so many wonderful opportunities, and it will help us get better jobs in the future."
Contact Kathleen Fox, a Paducah Sun staff writer, at 270-575-8651 or follow @kathleendfox on Twitter.
Pat Powell posted on: Wednesday, January 08, 2014 5:11 PM
Congrats to the board and administration of Murray State University and to the education and business community leadership in Paducah. This is all about expanding opportunity for all in the region.