Oakland City University gets new building thanks to Regional Cities Initiative, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Oakland City University gets new building thanks to regional cities

OAKLAND CITY, Ind. (WFIE) - Just before the start of the new school year, a new living space opened to students at Oakland City University.

It’s a project funded through partnerships with the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Regional Cities Initiative.

Oakland City University officials told us the building is not just for students. It will also be used by the community.

Economic development officials said this project was part of an effort to keep and retain talent in Gibson County. Which is why $2.2 million from the Regional Cities Initiative and a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture helped fund the project.

“Many times private universities can be a little more flexible in what they can do and they sometimes are in somewhat rural areas that definitely need the economic development," said Oakland City University president Ron Dempsey.

Officials said education is key to keeping the workforce going in our region.

The co-ed space will house 92 students when school starts next week. University officials said the students were selected for the new dorm based on their grade point average.

“This is my senior year, so I’m actually really excited to get to move into the new dorm and be one of the first people to live in there. As it’s my last year, so I think I earned it a little bit,” said Carlo Diaz-Madrid, Oakland City University student.

The building is also equipped with retail space for new businesses.

“We want something that is going to help the community. Something that, right now, you know Oakland City does not offer that can be part of this space and therefore not only our students. Cause we have many of them on campus that would utilize that retail space. But also the community can come to campus and use that space as well," Dempsey said.

University officials said they’re still searching for businesses to fill the new spots. Once those are rented, the 33,000 square foot building will be fully occupied.

For information on available retail space, you can contact Clint Woolsey, Oakland City University’s interim Vice President for Administration and Chief Information Officer. His email is cwoolsey@oak.edu.

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