TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

September 6, 2013

Union College gets $1.5 million grant

Money goes towards Health & Human Sciences Building

BARBOURVILLE — Union College greeted the students back to school — and welcomed a $1.5 million grant from the federal government — during its Fall Convocation Thursday morning.

U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine brought the announcement of the funding from Washington.

Addressing a packed Robsion Arena, Erskine said the Economic Development Administration grant would be used to renovate the old Knox County Hospital building into the Health and Natural Sciences Building. The facility, located just off the campus, is the new home of Union’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences.

After he spoke, students, staff and faculty got out of their seats, giving Erskine and other dignitaries seated behind him a standing ovation.

“I look forward to the ribbon cutting in October. The future of this region depends on you,” he said to the audience in his closing remarks.

“We will make excellent use of the funding,” replied Union’s President Dr. Marcia Hawkins after the ovation ended.

Erskine noted the nursing school at Union would train workers for health care jobs in southeastern Kentucky, a growing part of the region’s economy.

“The model was to support the ideas and plans the communities provide for business growth and overall economic prosperity. We have to pick the best ones to support, as well as getting the best return for the taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.

It was Hawkins who let those attending the convocation know there was something exciting about to happen.

“All these people behind me are here for a reason. They’re here to celebrate an achievement, with the Union College School of Nursing and the renovating of the old Knox County Hospital. It was the Knox County Fiscal Court who helped us get the old hospital building … This was truly a local, state, regional and national partnership, and we have a lot to thank for that,” she said.

“The fall is always an exciting time for students at Union College, especially with the renovation of the old Knox County Hospital. This project will provide opportunity and leadership for years to come,” added Barbourville Mayor David Thompson.

Knox County Judge-Executive J. M. Hall told the convocation, “The building is completed, the nursing program is here, and I’m proud to say we’re proud to be a part of the growth of Union College.”

Along with Erskine, one of those people behind the speaker’s podium was Earl Gohl, federal Co-Chair for the Appalachian Regional Commission, based in Washington, D.C.

“Each agency understood it was a great investment, because the students at Union College can do great things. There work is to make incredible changes to Appalachia. Your goal is to finish your degree at Union College, because you folks make the changes Appalachia needs,” Gohl said.

After the grant announcement, Erskine, Gohl, Hall, Thompson and other officials left the convocation for a tour of the Health and Natural Sciences Building. The tour was conducted by the college’s Physical Plant Director James Jamerson, who showed the group the old hospital building had been transformed into a new, ultramodern facility designed for health care students’ needs.

Erskine said after the tour, “It’s very impressive. It’s always great to see reuse of an existing building into a building used for a new need. You preserve the history, and you continue the process. If I was a student or a faculty member, I’d want to be here.”

The college’s School of Nursing and Health Sciences was established in 2010, and is home to Union’s nursing and athletic training programs.

According to Union’s website, the RN-to-BSN track was created to serve registered nurses who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, as well as to enhance their practice and grow as health care professionals. It’s offered on a part-time basis so nurses may continue to work full-time as they pursue the degree.

In the fall of 2012, a pre-licensure track began to serve those in the area who aren’t nurses who wish to earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. It includes two years of pre-requisite, and liberal arts and science courses before the upper division nursing major is expected to begin next fall.

Union’s athletic training program prepares students to take the Board of Certification exam, and/or to pursue graduate studies. Students get hands-on experience through access to multiple team physicians, clinical settings, the college’s 23 athletic programs and opportunities to intern with professional sports teams and in other settings.

The grant to Union was part of a $200 million appropriation made by Congress to the Economic Development Administration for areas that received a major disaster designation in fiscal year 2011 with long-term economic recovery and infrastructure support. A statement from the Economic Development Administration’s Washington office Thursday said the eight-county region served by Union College — Knox, Whitley, Laurel, Bell, Harlan, Clay, Jackson and Rockcastle counties, along with other Kentucky regions — suffered natural disasters in 2011, which included tornadoes and flooding. The EDA noted the weather disasters “primarily impacted small businesses, many of which were unable to reopen or forced to relocate.”

1
Text Only
Local News
  • TODAY'S HEADLINES — Aug. 1, 2014

    Jones presented with Purple Heart, Medal of Honor

    Woman who caused fatal crash enters plea agreement

    House heavily damaged in Moore Hill fire

    ‘Flex Program’ to earn high school diploma offered by Corbin schools

    August 1, 2014

  • 0731 Brad Connell & Amanda Matthews at Sanders Park FOR WEB.jpg Made to honor

    While lunch hour traffic on Main Street headed north Wednesday, Amanda Matthews and Brad Connell were putting the final touches on their latest work of art.
    Inside Sanders Park — a place where visitors and local residents alike can stop to rest, as well as to honor the Corbin man who brought Kentucky Fried Chicken to the world — five large plaques had just been installed.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Man wanted for stealing vehicle

    A Williamsburg man considered “possibly armed and dangerous” continues to be sought by officers with the Williamsburg Police Department.

    July 31, 2014

  • 0731 New home of Corbin Educational Center (former St. Camillus Academy) FOR WEB.jpg New life for a storied campus

    A new chapter in the Corbin Educational Center’s history has begun.
    It involves moving to a new location that’s had quite a few chapters of its own for more than 100 years.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Robbery suspect turns himself in

    A man wanted for a Laurel County robbery turned himself in at the Mount Vernon Police Department Wednesday, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.

    July 31, 2014

  • POLICE ROUNDUP: Child wandering in traffic nearly struck by two cars

    Two men are facing charges after a child was left alone and wandered into traffic where she was nearly struck by two vehicles, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.

    July 31, 2014

  • Indiana fugitive captured in Flat Lick

    An Indiana fugitive was arrested in Flat Lick Sunday and now deputies are searching for the woman that was with him.

    July 31, 2014

  • TODAY'S HEADLINES — July 31, 2014

    Five bronze ‘legacy plaques’ installed at Sanders Park

    Man wanted for stealing vehicle

    Robbery suspect turns himself in

    Corbin Educational Center moves to St. Camillus Academy
     

    July 31, 2014

  • 18 arrested in drug roundup

    An 11-month long investigation into illegal drug activity resulted in 18 arrests Tuesday, according to Kentucky State Police Trooper Lloyd Cochran.

    July 30, 2014

  • Suspect wanted for assault

    Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies continue their search for a suspect wanted for first-degree assault after he allegedly intentionally struck a woman with his vehicle while she was walking Tuesday — and then simply drove away.

    July 30, 2014

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Couple Channel Grief Into Soldiers' Retreat WWI Aviation Still Alive at Aerodrome in NY Raw: Rescuers at Taiwan Explosion Scene Raw: Woman Who Faced Death Over Faith in N.H. Clinton Before 9-11: Could Have Killed Bin Laden Netanyahu Vows to Destroy Hamas Tunnels Obama Slams Republicans Over Lawsuit House Leaders Trade Blame for Inaction Malaysian PM: Stop Fighting in Ukraine Cantor Warns of Instability, Terror in Farewell Ravens' Ray Rice: 'I Made a Huge Mistake' Florida Panther Rebound Upsets Ranchers Small Plane Crash in San Diego Parking Lot Busy Franco's Not Afraid of Overexposure Fighting Blocks Access to Ukraine Crash Site Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida Workers Dig for Survivors After India Landslide Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter