JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - A new welcome center at Arkansas State University could be a game changer, both in welcoming people to campus and how the project is funded, officials said Tuesday.
Officials said in a media release Monday that the 3,833-square-foot welcome center will be built at the corner of Aggie Road and Red Wolf Boulevard. The welcome center will also host a Centennial Bank branch.
Ground was broken for the project, which is expected to be done by the end of the year, on Tuesday.
According to A-State Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs Rick Stripling, the welcome center will offer something for everyone.
"It is very important. It is very significant and being able to do this through a partnership that doesn't require any state money or state funding, It is at the top of the heap for us," Stripling said, noting the campus had nearly 6,000 visitors alone last year.
Centennial Bank Regional Bank President Davy Carter said the project will be impressive.
"This is going to be something that the whole region is going to be proud of. This building is going to be fabulous and we bring new people to our town and to this campus, It is going to be a lot of showmanship with it," Carter said.
On Monday, both university and bank officials said they were supportive of the project, which will serve as a new entrance to the Jonesboro campus.
"Arkansas State University is vitally important to our community and region. We are excited to further our support of Arkansas State by expanding our presence on the A-State Jonesboro campus," the bank's NEA Division President, Deana Osment, said.
"We are so appreciative of Centennial Bank for their continued support of Arkansas State University", Arkansas State University System President Dr. Charles L. Welch said. "This public-private partnership is another example of our commitment to a strong working relationship with the communities we serve. This Welcome Center will benefit thousands of future students and their families, and we are so thankful for Centennial Bank's contribution to this exciting new facility on our beautiful campus."
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