HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) – State officials, students, alumni, and Huntington residents came together to celebrate the official groundbreaking of a new Marshall University school.
The first plot was dug signifying the start of the construction process for the Brad D. Smith Center for Business and Innovation.
The university president, Jerome Gilbert, says he looks forward to continuing to stretch the Marshall campus further downtown.
“I love where we placed this building. It was my idea to put it on Fourth Avenue. I think this is a great start to sort of stretching the campus all the way to the downtown. That’s what we’d like to do is create a high-tech corridor along Fourth Avenue and really connect the city center to this university,” Gilbert says.
Students also expressed excitement for the new building, and one Marshall alumna, Kelly Leonard, said the expansion is a way to prepare business students for their post-graduation careers.
The building contributor and future president of Marshall University, Brad Smith, says he believes this move is a good thing for Marshall and the Huntington community.
“People often talk about the power of a town and gown relationship. How a university needs it’s surrounding community to be successful. Marshall and Huntington are much further than that – we are inseparable. So goes Huntington, so goes Marshall and vice versa and our time has come. We see a great opportunity ahead of us and we’re seizing that opportunity,”Brad Smith, Marshall University President Elect
The building will be on the corner of 1400 and Fourth Avenue, and it’s scheduled to be completed and open for Spring 2024.