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[Huntington] Marshall University developments

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Here today, gone in May, Twentieth Street Baptist Church to be demolished to make way for recreation facility, residence hall

I wrote the corresponding article here on Wikipedia.

Article information: LoPresti, Sarina. "Here today, gone in May, Twentieth Street Baptist Church to be demolished to make way for recreation facility, residence hall." Parthenon 31 Jan. 2007. 1 Feb. 2007.

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HODGES HALL: Old Residence Hall Set To Come Down; Had Bit Part in 'We Are Marshall'

Hodges Hall will be demolished as part of the Health and Wellness Center expansion. Campus Christian Center will be leveled and replaced with a new structure that does not include a chapel.

Article information: "HODGES HALL: Old Residence Hall Set To Come Down; Had Bit Part in 'We Are Marshall', By Tony Rutherford, Huntington News Network, February 18, 2007"

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Christian Center Board Votes To Build New Complex with Parking, Dorm Space, But No Chapel

Article information: "CAMPUS SANCTUARY MAY BE DEMOLISHED: Christian Center Board Votes To Build New Complex with Parking, Dorm Space, But No Chapel; PROWL Alum: 'I Can No Longer Say Marshall University with a Straight Face'; By Tony Rutherford, Huntington News Network, February 17, 2007"

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Board of governors to get wellness center update

Notes --

1. The University Board of Governors received an update at a meeting today. The $95 million project includes --

1a. A wellness center, that will have a small swimming pool, running track, three to four gymnasiums, and exercise rooms.

1b. Two structure 700-bed total residence hall.

Article information: "Board of governors to get wellness center update, By Justin McElroy, Herald-Dispatch, Monday, May, 14, 2007"

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MU construction set to begin

Renderings, maps

Notes --

1. On Monday, the MU Board of Governors approved a resolution on a partnership between MU and Capstone Management. Capstone will own and operate the facilities until it has a return on investment.

2. The $94 million project includes baseball and softball fields, a recreation center and residence halls.

3. The recreational center will be 123,000 sq. ft., feature pools, a three-story climbing wall, running track, courts for racquetball, handball, volleyball and basketball, three fitness rooms, Nautilus and cardiovascular machines, a child care area, and an outdoor area for sunbathing.

3a. It will be open to Marshall students, faculty and staff from 6 AM to 1 AM.

4. The new freshmen residence halls will have two-person suits with individual bedrooms and a shared bathroom for each suite. It will also feature wireless internet. The 785 bed facility will be split into two buildings, and feature a study room, theater room, and video conference room (???).

5. Bonds will be sold on June 12. Mascaro Construction will be building the project -- the same one who constructed the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center.

6. The tennis courts will be taken out in a week, and demolition of the 20th Street Baptist Church will begin May 21.

7. Construction on the residence halls will begin in June, and the rec center in August. The residence halls should be open by fall 2008, and the rec center in spring 2009.

8. By the time the rec center opens, Hodges Hall will be demolished. The Twin Towers will be converted into single-room suits, and the softball field might move to 3rd Avenue (from the football stadium). A baseball field might be installed as well.

Article information: "MU construction set to begin, By JEAN TARBETT HARDIMAN, The Herald-Dispatch, Saturday, May 15, 2007"

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It appears as though they are demolishing half the campus. The church building had no landmark protection? I know the university needs to grow, but I would have preferred a solution which might have retained at least a portion of the building. Were none sought?

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None. The church was willing to sell and move out, appearantly. It's a nice church, sadly, I didn't grab any exterior or interior photographs. At least there will not be a car-oriented development going up in its place (unlike the next block over that's not on MU's land).

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None. The church was willing to sell and move out, appearantly. It's a nice church, sadly, I didn't grab any exterior or interior photographs. At least there will not be a car-oriented development going up in its place (unlike the next block over that's not on MU's land).

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It appears as though they are demolishing half the campus. The church building had no landmark protection? I know the university needs to grow, but I would have preferred a solution which might have retained at least a portion of the building. Were none sought?

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MU predicts return on center

Notes --

1. From a student's perspective, the recreation center is of the upmost priority. But Marshall did not have a full-fledged recreation center. The input from the students' led to the creation of the student recreation facility and ~780-bed dormitory that officials hope will lure more students to Marshall. The $90 million project is a public-private partnership, the first in West Virginia.

2. The public-private partnership helps speed up construction and keeps other projects, like the new Engineering facility, be kept in the pipeline. It also allows the new facilities to be kept off of the balance sheet.

3. The expansion has been funded with different bonds by two entities. Marshall U.'s bonds are insured, while Capstone's are without worth at the moment because the money from the student recreational center and student housing won't start paying out (to them) until 2018. The plan will only work if the buildings create a revenue stream -- which is why a dormitory that collects housing fees and a student recreation center that brings in student fees -- works. The funds will pay off the bonds. This sort of plan, for instance, would not work with a traditional academic building, since it would not bring in funding.

4. Capstone will run the facilities for 30 years before reverting it to Marshall U.

5. Student and faculty input were key to the project. The 123,000 sq. ft. recreation center will feature pools, a three-story climbing wall, a running track, courts for racquetball, handball, volleyball and basketball, and three fitness rooms for free weights, Nautilus, and cardiovascular machines. It will also have a child care center and an outdoor area for sunbathing. The dorms will have classrooms and apartments for visiting faculty. After the dorms are complete, Hodges and Laidley halls will be demolished.

6. It is being funded by a $75 increase in student activity fees that will take effect in the spring of 2009.

Article information: "MU predicts return on center, By Justin McElroy, Herald-Dispatch, June 1, 2007"

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New clinic offers more space for med students

Notes --

1. The new clinic associated with Marshall University's Robert C. Byrd Center for Rural Health might increase enrollment at the medical school by as much as 50%. Enrollment is currently around 200, however, the university expects to see this increase to 300 over the next few years.

2. The new center offers much more space for care of the patients, and it could bring in more students looking to study in specialty fields -- and perhaps practice and stay in the area.

3. It is located at 1249 15th St. at the former Fairfield Stadium site, and opened on June 4. Patients who received care at the Marshall University's Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine's Internal Medicine and Cardiovascular Services will now come to this site for continued assistance.

3a. The first floor hosts medical school courses, while the remainder of the structure houses the cardiovascular services, internal medicine, the Hanshaw Geriatric Center, and the Marshall Diabetes Center.

3b. The 88,000 sq. ft. building cost $24 million to construct; the last $11 million came in 2004 when Robert C. Byrd (D-WVa) secured a federal appropriation. It can handle 250 patient visits per day.

Article information: "New clinic offers more space for med students, By Sarah Zopfi Hubbard, The Herald-Dispatch, June, 6, 2007"

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Veto threatens MU progress

By Bryan Chambers, Herald-Dispatch [Huntington], June 20, 2007

Construction of two new residence halls, a student recreation center, and an engineering building could come to a halt if Marshall University cannot proceed with the abandonment of two alleys. Mayor David Felinton vetoed legislation authorizing the abandonment. Last week, the Huntington City Council voted 9-0 to sell to Marshall for $10,000, the alleys behind the old 20th St. Baptist Church site, and the alley between the two parking lots from 3rd Avenue to the old Weiler Steel property.

$10,000 is the amount that Marshall's appraiser valued the alleys. But Felinton states that the appraisal, by Rolston and Co., is $184,000.

"The city is setting a really bad precedent if it sells these alleys to Marshall for only $10,000. It could force us in the future to practically give away or extremely undervalue properties that we sell to Marshall or the hospitals. I fully support the construction of new facilities at Marshall. At the same time, I have an obligation to the residents of Huntington to be a good steward of public funds."

-Mayor Felinton

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Council overrides veto

By Bryan Chambers, Herald-Dispatch [Huntington], June 26, 2007

Not all that surprising, but quick :unsure:

On Monday, the Huntington City Council voted 9-0 to override Mayor David Felinton's veto of two ordinances that authorized the sale of two pieces of property to Marshall for $10,000. (See background above.) Felinton vetoed the sale of the properties because he said that Marshall University's appraisal of $10,000 was too low. The MU appraisal valued the properties at 55 cents per square foot. The mayor had a second appraisal done one day before the City Council approved the sale two weeks ago, which valued the properties at $184,000. The mayor last week offered to sell the properties to MU for $97,000, the midpoint between the two appraisals.

MU argued that the appraisal was appropriate because the properties in question were of no use to anyone but Marshall, and that they could not be reused for commercial use. MU also stated that the veto threatened to derail the construction of the residence halls and the recreation center, and delay the new engineering shcool project. The bond insurers for the residence hall and recreation center recently placed additional financial requirement on Marshall, which has pushed the $90 million project to the 'brink of falling apart.' If that had happened, the city would have lost $1.9 million in business and occupation taxes during the construction phase of the project.

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