WKU Owensboro signs 10-year lease with County

September 22, 2019 | 3:05 am

Updated September 21, 2019 | 10:27 pm

During a Fiscal Court meeting held Tuesday night, Daviess County officials voted to extend the lease of the L. Reid Haire Administration Building located at 4821 New Hartford Road, which is home to WKU in Owensboro. | Photo by AP Imagery

A new 10-year agreement with Daviess County will allow Western Kentucky University to continue to bring the resources of WKU to the citizens of this region.

During a Fiscal Court meeting held Tuesday night, Daviess County officials voted to extend the lease of the L. Reid Haire Administration Building located at 4821 New Hartford Road, which is home to WKU in Owensboro.

WKU’s current lease ends in September 2020, and the new 10-year lease will begin October 2020. WKU will pay the County $82,000 per year and will continue to work closely with the Daviess County Fiscal Court to maintain and improve the building and grounds.

Owensboro Times reported in March that the Western Kentucky University Owensboro campus had seen a nearly 64 percent decrease in face-to-face enrollment since it established its own campus in 2010.

In its first semester in that building, WKU enrolled 529 students locally. Owensboro Times reported in March that the previous fall semester enrollment only reached 189.

WKU officials said that although face-to-face enrollment was down, the regional campus has seen a growth in online enrollment. In fall 2011, 240 students that lived in the Owensboro region, which encompasses surrounding counties as well as some of southern Indiana, took online coursework and did not take classes on the main campus. In fall 2018, online enrollment was at 355 students.

“This new agreement is more than just a piece of paper,” said Beth Laves, associate vice president of extended learning at WKU. “This is a symbol of the Daviess County government leaders’ commitment to improving the lives of the citizens they serve –– and of WKU’s commitment to bring degree completion and training opportunities to the people of this great region.”

Daviess County Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said he is pleased to continue the relationship with WKU.

“I look forward to bigger and better things,” he said.

WKU first offered college courses in Owensboro in 1969 and in the spring of 2010 moved to the 27-acre site purchased and built by Daviess County.

“We are proud to be located in this great community,” said Laves. “We look forward to many more years of outstanding partnerships with Daviess County, as well as the City of Owensboro, Owensboro Community & Technical College, Henderson and Madisonville community colleges, Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce and other local school systems, businesses and organizations.”

September 22, 2019 | 3:05 am

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