Union College to host grand opening celebration

Published on
October 31, 2013

Next week, Union College will host a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for the new Center for Health and Natural Sciences.

The event will be Thursday, Oct. 31 from 2-5 p.m. at the new building, which formerly housed the Knox County Hospital. The ribbon cutting ceremony will be at 2 p.m. with other activities to follow, including a reception and tours.

There will be several distinguished guests present for the ceremony. They include Marcia Hawkins, Ph.D, president of Union College; Paul Isaacs, Union College board of trustees chair; David Thompson, mayor of Barbourville; J.M. Hall, Knox County Judge-Executive; Robert Stivers, Kentucky Senate president; and Shannon Rickett, field representative for Rep. Harold “Hal” Rogers, U.S. congressman. Gov. Steve Beshear has also been invited.

The Center for Health and Natural Sciences is home to Union’s fully accredited nursing and athletic training programs, natural science classes, as well as the psychology department. Classes have been meeting in the building regularly since the start of the fall semester.

The renovation of the building was aided by a $1.5 million grant received from the U.S. Department of Commerce in September. Matt S. Erskine, the U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, traveled to Union in the fall to publicly announce the grant.

While on campus, Erskine noted that the building and the Union College departments housed in it, will lead to fiscal growth in the Knox County area. In a press release concerning the grants, Erskine, along with U.S. House Appropriations Chairman Hal Rogers reiterated that.

“The EDA grants announced today will help establish a new…facility at Union College to train workers for jobs in the region’s growing health care sector,” Erskine said.

“These EDA grants go a step further, helping us prepare for a greater health care workforce and address infrastructure improvement needs,” Rogers said.