ASU To See Bond Boost

December 7, 2005--Posted at 6:00 p.m. CDT

JONESBORO, AR--If the higher education bonds are passed, Arkansas State University should expect to see over 9 million dollars in new money. With this money ASU has some new projects on tap.

"About a million and half dollars will go into a new internet system that we use here for research and teaching activities," said ASU President Dr. Les Wyatt.

The E-corridor is used by every state in the region except Arkansas and utilizes high speed fiber optics.

"If our community is not a part of this development we will be left behind," said Wyatt.

The remaining seven plus million dollars would go to new construction at the school.

"The second thing we are going to do is build a new classroom building on campus," said Wyatt.

Wilson Hall was constructed back in the early 1930's as a multi purpose building. At one point it served as the schools cafeteria and the schools library, but now more than 70 years later and a couple hundred thousand students later the school is in need of a new building.

"It is important for people to realize what this bond money will do is give us the capability to build a new Wilson Hall, with new classrooms, new laboratories and new place for people to gather," said Wyatt.

With new facilities and technology, the benefits ASU sees should have a major impact on the region.

"If we can develop research products or processes in our laboratories here that can be commercialized here in Jonesboro that will be more income for our community," said Wyatt.

For ASU this election is an opportunity for citizens to vote on Arkansas' tomorrow.

"Seventy years ago somebody built Wilson Hall for them and this is our opportunity to build a new facility for the students of the future," said Wyatt.

Under the plan old Wilson Hall will not be torn down. The historic landmark will remain part of the school in another capacity.