EKU Regents Meet in Frankfort
Priorities are science building, airport
- by Seth Littrell, The Richmond Register
February 24, 2014
RICHMOND — Eastern Kentucky University President Michael Benson and the regents board are convening in Frankfort today to make an appearance before the General Assembly.
In a Monday interview, Benson said he thinks this is the first time in recent history the entire board has traveled to the state capital representing the university’s interests.
“It’s a great opportunity for us to go and make our case,” the president said.
Benson said the biggest priority for the school was getting funding for phase two of the New Science Building. He said the $66 million request, which was included in the governor’s budget, looks “solid.” An additional $25 million added to the request to rehabilitate the Moore Building, the old science building which sustained flooding in January from burst pipes, may not be so definite.
“As they say, though, pigs get fed while hogs get slaughtered,” Benson remarked. “We’re not going to get greedy. We’ll take what we can get.”
If phase two is completed, Moore will likely be used as office space and classrooms for arts and science faculty, he said.
Some measurable advances in science education can be traced to the new facility, Benson said. The number of biology majors is up by 400 percent, and many teachers in the department have been working with professor Malcolm Frisbie to make the labs as efficient as possible.
The university is ready to begin the next phase as soon as funding is received.
“Not to be dramatic about it, but when we get the appropriation, we could put the bid package out July 2 and hopefully beat other projects to the street,” Benson said.
Seth Littrell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 624-6623.
Published on May 12, 2014