The Richmond Register

Local News

April 4, 2013

Town-gown relations mutually beneficial, Roelofs tells chamber

BEREA — “If this is a good and healthy place to live, both townsfolk and college folk benefit,” as do the students and their families who spend time here, Berea College President Lyle Roelofs told a Berea Chamber of Commerce luncheon.

Although he assumed his duties last summer, Roelofs will not be formally installed in office until a 10 a.m. ceremony Saturday.

He addressed the chamber luncheon as part of Inauguration Week activities to highlight the high value he places on town/gown relations, Roelofs said.

“If the college continues to provide great employment opportunities, the economic benefits are good for everyone, whether or not you work there,” he said.

“If this city is open to the work of our students and faculty as they apply what they studied in the classroom to real world challenges, the education of those students will be improved.

“If the college provides cultural and wellness resources open to all, the quality of life of everyone will be enhanced.

“If the people of this city continue to provide a committed work force, and I have met families in this town whose members have been involved with the college for as many as five generations, going all the way back to the actual founding, we will be able to better carry out the mission of the college.

“If the college thrives, it will continue to be and increasingly so, an enticement to visitors helping to make the city of Berea a traveler’s destination, because of our noteworthy history, the artisanship programs and products, and the other delights of visiting the campus, College Square and the rest of the town.”

Roelofs also updated Berea’s business and government leaders, who were joined by Richmond and Madison County officials, on the college’s efforts to become a more “resilient and sustainable” institution.

Among those are:

• Construction of a “deep green” residence hall that should be ready for students in August

• A store that in September will begin selling meat and produce grown on the Berea College farm.

Plans also are under way to enhance, expand or renovate the college library as well as buildings that house science, nursing and teacher-training programs.

The college also has been awarded $76 million federal Promise Neighborhood and GEAR UP grants over seven years to provide educational, health, and family services to more than 20,000 at-risk students of 19 school districts in 17 rural eastern Kentucky counties.

The former Middletown School building is being enlarged to accommodate the program.

About half of Berea’s students are considered first-generation college students and come from families with a median family income of less than $30,000, Roelofs noted.

Students from such backgrounds typically struggle to succeed in college, he said Berea’s 65 percent graduation rate ranks it fourth in the nation based on the students it serve.

“It’s true that Berea graduates can go anywhere and compete successfully,” Roelofs said.

However, 37 percent of them go back to live in their home counties while another 23 percent return to their home states. About half of it graduates live in Kentucky, he said.

Nearly 79 percent of Berea graduates return to the southern Appalachian region the college regards as its service area.

Both the city and college have much to gain from building on their already strong relationship, Roelofs said.

“It very much seems to me that both the college and the city have bright futures, and that those futures are better because they are shared.

Bill Robinson can be reached at editor@richmondregister.com or 624-6690.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Legislature passes road-spending plan

    Kentucky House and Senate lawmakers agreed Tuesday to a $4.1 billion road-spending plan on the legislature’s final day, avoiding an expensive special session.
    The plan includes $5.2 billion worth of projects throughout the state. But as much as 25 percent of that money will not be spent. Lawmakers said they would like to include a cushion in case some projects are delayed because of environmental concerns or problems acquiring land.

    April 16, 2014

  • 4-16 CMMShealthfair5.jpg Health fairs cover contemporary teenage topics

    Berea Community High School health students coordinated their first all-day health fair in November that was catered to elementary students.

    But their spring fair Monday handled more mature issues that targeted the middle and high school crowd, said health teacher Cathy Jones.

    April 16, 2014 13 Photos

  • 4-16 Lisa Begley.jpg Police: Woman drove through storage business gate

    Richmond police arrested a Lexington woman Monday night after the property manager at Main Street Storage said she repeatedly drove her vehicle into a gate and fence at the 455 E. Main St. business.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Local jobless rate for 2013 same as 2012

    Madison was one of 12 Kentucky counties with a 2013 jobless rate unchanged from the previous year, according to statistics released Tuesday.

    Still, only four counties – Woodford, 6.1; Fayette and Oldham, 6.5; and Scott, 6.7 – had jobless rates better than Madison’s 6.8 percent.

    April 16, 2014

  • Danville officials table fairness ordinance

    City officials in Danville have tabled an anti-discrimination proposal.
    The Advocate-Messenger reports that the move on Monday came after questions were raised about its legality and suggestions were made for changes.

    April 15, 2014

  • Grimes outpaces McConnell in first quarter

    Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes has again outpaced her likely Republican general election opponent, incumbent Mitch McConnell, in fundraising during the first quarter — but she remains well behind McConnell in total fundraising and cash on hand.

    April 15, 2014

  • $250,000 wrecker stolen

    A representative of Barger’s Wrecking Service, North Porter Drive, reported to Richmond police Sunday that a black, 1996 Peterbilt wrecker with company logos on it was stolen from the business’ parking lot. The wrecker is valued at $250,000, according to the police report.

    April 15, 2014

  • Owner requests business zoning for corner of West Main and Tates Creek

    The owner of three lots at the corner of West Main Street and Tates Creek Avenue wants the property rezoned from R-1B (Single-family Residential) to B-1 (Neighborhood Business).

    April 14, 2014

  • Regents approve smoke-free campus policy

    The Eastern Kentucky University Board of Regents on Monday approved a tobacco-free campus policy and set 2014-15 rates for tuition, housing and meal plans.

    Effective June 1, the use of tobacco on all property that is owned, leased, occupied or controlled by the university will be prohibited.

    April 14, 2014

  • 4.15 Eggstravaganza 1.jpg Easter bunny's ‛eggbeater’ will fly eggs to Richmond

    Who knew the Easter bunny could fly?

    Skeptics can come to the Easter Eggstravaganza in Richmond’s Irvine-McDowell Park on Saturday to see for themselves. However, the bunny still doesn’t fly in bad weather. But on Monday, temperatures in the 60s with partly cloudy skies were predicted for Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

AP Video
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should the Richmond City Commission stop rezoning property to allow construction of apartments?

Yes.
No
     View Results