Salem International University Explores Educational Center

NEWS RELEASE – For publication on Wednesday, August 6, 2003

Salem International University officials confirmed today that the institution is planning the development of a Bioscience Technology Center. The $12 million proposal has been incorporated in a revised grant proposal recently submitted by the City of Bridgeport to the West Virginia Economic Development Grant Committee.

The Center will include an expansion of the University’s bioscience and bioinformatics programs and serve as the hub for the University’s adult and corporate learning operations. The Center also will be the headquarters for SIU Online, the University’s new domestic and international e-learning division.

In making the announcement, SIU President Dr. Richard W. Ferrin said that the new regional center will enable SIU to better achieve its mission and strengthen its programs and international outreach while remaining in Harrison County.

"We have served Harrison County since 1888," Ferrin said. "With an $11 million budget that supports 120 employees, we recognize the economic impact SIU has in Harrison County, and we desire to deepen that impact. Our goal is both to provide high quality programs to young people and adults in this region and to attract learners of all ages to West Virginia".

The SIU Bioscience Technology Center will be located at Charles Pointe, a 2,000 acre development located near I-79 that incorporates business, education, research and industrial facilities with up-scale residential components in a planned community.

Ferrin said he is impressed with the potential for Charles Pointe. Initial discussions with the development group have identified exciting possibilities that can help SIU become a more valuable asset to Harrison County, the state and the nation.

Bridgeport Mayor, Joe Timms said the SIU Center builds upon existing activities along the I-79 High Technology Corridor and the adjacent Mid-Atlantic Aerospace Complex. Timms pointed out the Center, the Charles Pointe concept and the world-class destination conference center being planned by Bridgeport will provide the region with much needed facilities to establish this area as a highly preferred location for economic development.

SIU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Pete Linkins, said that being a part of the vision being developed by Bridgeport and Charles Pointe would provide tremendous options for students in biotechnology, one of the university’s strongest fields. "Being in the heart of West Virginia’s technology corridor would enhance SIU’s ability to attract faculty and students interested in cutting-edge research," Linkins said.

For further information, contact the President’s Office at Salem International University at 223 W. Main Street, Salem, WV 26426 or call (304) 782-5234.