The Richmond Register


October 28, 2012

The future of science at EKU

Eastern cites progress in science learning as new building dedicated

RICHMOND — Eastern Kentucky University’s new science building has been open for one semester and half of another, but the facility is already making a difference, President Doug Whitlock said during a Saturday morning dedication ceremony.

Basking in a sense of accomplishment in the last year of his presidency, Whitlock said:

• Student test scores are up

• Absenteeism is down

• Faculty collaboration and scholarship are up

• Instructor evaluations have improved.

Saturday’s gathering of mostly current and retired faculty in the building’s central atrium was more a celebration than a dedication, several participants said.

The $64 million, 175,000-square-foot facility, on Kit Carson Drive next to Eastern’s health sciences complex, houses the departments of chemistry and physics/astronomy as well as science education classrooms and laboratories.

However, only half of the building has been completed. A second phase that will house biological sciences as well as the geography/geology departments has not been funded and remains EKU’s  top construction priority, Whitlock said.

Other speakers at the hour-long event included U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Sixth District; Dr. Gary Booth, an EKU alumnus who is the retired vice president of research for Procter & Gamble; and Dr. Malcolm Frisbie, faculty regent and the faculty “shepherd” during the design and construction process.

Dorinda Rigsby, a pre-pharmacy major who received a scholarship endowed by Booth and his wife, also spoke.

Joanne Glasser, who was EKU president when the General Assembly funded the project, attended the ceremony but did not speak.

Chandler praised the work of former state legislators Harry Moberly and Ed Worley to secure funding. “(Their) contributions to EKU have been incalculable,” he said.

Whitlock thanked the congressman for securing approximately $1.3 million in federal funding to equip the building.

Both Chandler and Whitlock cited the importance of science for America’s future prosperity and global competitiveness.

Chandler said the country’s low rankings in math and science “absolutely have to change. It starts with our public K-12 schools and ends with our universities. We’re talking about improving our lives … and making our country competitive in a global economy. I’m proud of EKU for stepping up to the plate.”

Rigsby, a sophomore, said she has been “really impressed” by the classrooms, labs and “state-of-the-art” technology, as well as by the University’s sciences faculty, who she said “take great pride in the subject they’re teaching. This building is a shining example of how much Eastern does care. I’m very proud to be a student of this university.”

Booth said he has visited university science facilities in Europe, India and China, “and this is really world-class.

“It’s very important,” Booth said, “for students to have hands-on experiences, and (this facility) is designed to shorten the interface between the classroom and hands-on work.”

Frisbie, also a professor of biological sciences, said: “Universities are filled with creative, energetic and innovative people (and) are at their best when they harness that creativity, innovation and energy. No project epitomizes what can be done by a University community more than this building does.”

He saluted Glasser for her vision almost a decade ago, Moberly and Worley for their persistent efforts in the General Assembly, and Whitlock for his strong support “to enable this to go forward.”

The building in its current form would not have been possible without the support of two academic departments that aren’t yet located within its walls. Frisbie saluted the administrators of the departments of biological sciences and geography/geology for their willingness to remain in their current home until Phase 2 can be constructed.

“Our work is not done,” Frisbie said. “Let’s get funding in this next legislative session, and let’s make it our goal that we meet back here in April 2017 for another dedication ceremony when we open Phase 2.”

A plaque honoring Frisbie’s work as “advocate, ambassador, translator, diplomat and referee” was unveiled during the ceremony.

“His efforts made every aspect of this building better,” Whitlock said.

Text Only
  • 7-29 YMCA-Schools.jpg YMCA, county district to provide after-school care

    The Telford YMCA is partnering with the Madison County School District to provide after-school child care for kindergarten and elementary students.
    YMCA Executive Director Dave Wallace and Madison County School Superintendent Elmer Thomas announced the partnership Monday afternoon.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-25 Camp Invention 1.jpg Young inventors turn trash to treasure

    The first day of Camp Invention began with a room full of objects ready to be recycled, Sarah Shaffer, director of the camp said Thursday.

    July 24, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-22 Band Camp 1.jpg Band students ‛take over’ MCHS campus

    The Madison Central High School campus has been “taken over” for two weeks by 170 students attending band camp.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 7-22 Child vs Wild Camp 3.jpg Campers learn hazards of the ‛wild’

    Fifteen “Child vs. Wild” campers crowded around a plate full of gooey marshmallows, freshly toasted by camp leaders on a St. Mark Catholic School stovetop Monday.

    July 21, 2014 3 Photos

  • MCHS, Caudill win world archery titles

    Caudill Middle School and Madison Central High School won their divisions in the National Archery in Schools Program World Championships in Madison, Wisc. this past weekend

    The win is a third consecutive title for Caudill Middle School and a first for MCHS.

    July 13, 2014

  • 7-12 White Hall principal.jpg Eversole returns to White Hall as principal

    The White Hall Elementary School-based Decision-making Council has selected Monica Eversole as the school’s new principal.
    Eversole was serving as guidance counselor at Lexington’s Dixie Magnet Elementary School.

    July 12, 2014 1 Photo

  • School board to save $53,000 yearly by refinancing bonds

    The Madison County School Board authorized issuance of almost $10.5 million in school building revenue bonds at its monthly meeting Thursday.
    The board approved a recommendation from the Madison County School District Finance Corporation to issue slightly more than $10.49 million in bonds to help finance renovation projects at three district elementary schools.

    July 12, 2014

  • Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield

    The kindergarten center that will serve the county’s four Richmond elementary schools will be known as the Madison Kindergarten Academy at Mayfield.
    The Madison County School Board at its monthly meeting Thursday night chose the name for the all-kindergarten academy that will be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School.

    July 10, 2014

  • Naming of kindergarten academy on school board agenda

    Naming of the new kindergarten academy to be housed in the former Mayfield Elementary School building is on the Madison County School Board’s agenda Thursday evening.
    The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Madison Central High School lecture lab.

    July 8, 2014

  • Bluegrass Christian School closes

    Bluegrass Christian School did not get enough enrollment contracts by June 30, and its board of directors has decided to cease operations.
    The school will be dissolved Aug. 1., according to a Tuesday statement from the six-member board.
    Families may pick up transcripts, records and prepaid tuition or application fees the week of July 21, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the statement added.

    July 2, 2014

AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Should Madison County’s three local governing bodies ban smoking in indoor public places?

     View Results