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Engineering complex big step for Marshall and entire Tri-State

Oct. 31, 2012 @ 12:19 AM

Despite cloudy skies and a looming super storm, Marshall University Monday broke ground on a $50 million project that will brighten the education and economic picture in the Tri-State for years to come.

The Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex on 3rd Avenue will be home to the university's growing engineering program, providing state-of-the-art teaching spaces and an innovative environment for collaborative research. The four-story, 145,000-square-foot structure will be one of the largest buildings on campus and should be completed in 28 months.

The building will help the program expand into many specialties such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, bio-engineering, environmental engineering, transportation engineering and structural engineering. The program has 600 students, and the new facilities will help bring more top-flight students to Marshall and provide the region with a wealth of engineering talent, which has a positive economic impact all its own.

Once again, the university and the Tri-State owe a big thanks to Joan and Art Weisberg, who have been generous in their support for this project and the engineering program. Weisberg is one of those incredible members of what Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation," who came home from World War II, got an education and helped build the most robust economy the world had ever seen.

West Virginia is fortunate that in the early 1950s, the Brooklyn native found an engineering job at a steel plant in New Haven, W.Va., and then began selling light bulbs and electric supplies to small stores around the state. That enterprise became the State Electric Supply Co., which today is one of the nation's largest electrical distributors with operations in six states.

The building will be a lasting tribute not only to the Weisbergs' lifetime of entrepreneurship and hard work, but also to the power of education to build a better future.

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