WKU Receives Land Gift in Elizabethtown

An education foundation deeds property to Western Kentucky University.

The land gift is expected to expand educational and economic development in the eight-county Lincoln Trail Development District, which includes the Elizabethtown, Ky., area.

President and CEO of the North Central Education Foundation, Al Rider presented the gift of 20 acres to WKU President Gary Ransdell this on May 29, 2007.

Rider said the foundation is giving the land adjacent to the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College campus to help WKU increase bachelor and graduate degree programs.

The land is tentatively appraised at $1.3 million, but Rider said the value of what will develop there cannot be calculated.

“We want to make certain that the very best possible purchaser of that property is found and we think that this presence of WKU will attract that best purchaser and offer the most quality jobs for the residents of this area,” Rider explained.

Rider added that education is key to developing a workforce that can meet the needs of area employers.

President Ransdell acknowledged the region is facing one of the most dramatic opportunities for economic development because of the base realignment and closure process at Ft. Knox.

“So this is all about delivering degree programs from associate to baccalaureate to master’s degree programs in a seamless process between ECTC and WKU to meet the needs of Hardin County,” Ransdell said.

In addition to the jobs being created for local residents, more than 6,000 people are expected to move into the area by 2010 as a part of the changes at Ft. Knox.