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WKU building site nearly ready

OWENSBORO — Daviess County officials hope construction can begin this fall on the nearly complete site for the planned Western Kentucky University-Owensboro campus.

The state will decide when buildings will be constructed, Daviess officials say, but they plan to have the first county-financed building ready to hold classes by January 2010.

The Owensboro Messenger-Inquirer reports that the campus will be located across U.S. 231 from Owensboro Community & Technical College.

"I'd say we're probably 95 percent (completed) on the rough end of the dirt work," said Daviess County senior project engineer Joey Fischer. "We're doing the storm drains this week."

Computer labs, distance learning classrooms and faculty offices as well as the campus administration, to be staffed by WKU, will be housed in the $6 million building.

The campus' goal is to increase the number of county residents with bachelor's degrees, with the idea for students to receive their associate degrees at OCTC and complete their bachelor's degree at the Owensboro Western campus.

County landfill crews are wrapping up the dirt work as a way to reduce the cost of the project, Daviess County Judge-Executive Reid Haire told city commissioners at a city work session. Other campus buildings will be constructed over a 20- to 25-year period, he added.

The site should be ready to build on within two weeks, Fischer said.

The county is waiting for state funding to construct a second building.