Murray State University leaders and Gov. Steve Beshear turned the ceremonial first shovel of dirt for a $37 million campus construction project today. The Engineering Physics Buildings is the final stage of MSU’s Gene W. Ray Science Campus.
Beshear said the building will allow the university to continue training more students in STEM, which could bring jobs to the area.
“I talk to CEOs all across this world trying to bring business to Kentucky and jobs to Kentucky. And while they tell me that tax incentives are important, infrastructure is important, their top priority, the thing they say they have to have more than anything else is an educated, skilled, trained, healthy workforce.,” the governor said.
Jesse D. Jones College of Science, Engineering and Technology Dean Steve Cobb echoed Beshear’s statement saying STEM education is a priority for western Kentucky’s economic growth and well-being.
“Graduates with the ability to solve complex problems in important areas such as energy, medicine, communications, transportation, aerospace, computing and the environment will have an advantage in the 21st century,” he said in a Murray State press release. “ The final phase of MSU’s science complex will provide students with the opportunity to excel in their studies of STEM topics and will prepare them to be leaders in emerging areas of science and technology.”
Beshear said during his first years in office there wasn’t money for university capital projects like the science facility.
“But as we started coming back out of that recession we had the opportunity to make some proposals to the General Assembly and this engineering and physics building to finish this complex was one of those priorities on the top of our list.,” he said.
This is one of three major construction projects for MSU. Work is underway on a new Breathitt veterinary center in Hopkinsville, and is set to begin soon on a new residential college.
The long-awaited project includes classrooms, research labs and offices in a state-of-the-art learning facility. The engineering physics building is scheduled for a spring 2017 completion.