PHENIX CITY - Troy University officials and representatives from Phenix City celebrated the "realization of a grand vision" on Friday, officially dedicating the University's new Riverfront Campus along the banks of the Chattahoochee River.
The 48,000-square foot, four-story, $11.5 million building will house the Phenix City Campus' business, nursing and social work programs and will include three centers for excellence - the Center for Water Resource Economics, the Center for Risk Management Insurance and the Small Business Accelerator. The building will also serve as the center of the Phenix City Campus' community outreach program and will be available for community-hosted events.
"We are excited about what this new facility means for this community and for Troy University," said Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor. "This building will serve as the core of what will ultimately be a larger facility that will house all of our programs in Phenix City. As Thoreau said, 'It's not what you are looking at, but what you see.' This is the realization of a grand vision that began more than a decade ago, and it is only through strong partnerships and community support that we stand here today."
Gerald Dial, President Pro-tem of the Troy University Board of Trustees, said the celebration was a great day for the University, the city of Phenix City and the surrounding area.
"This is a beautiful building and a beautiful location, but I am most excited about what will happen inside these walls," Dial said. "The people of this region will have access to higher education inside these walls, and an educated citizenry leads to prosperous and committed communities."
Chris Blackshear, Mayor Pro-tem of Phenix City, called the dedication of the building "an exciting day" in the life of Troy University and the city.
"Ideas come and go, but visions come with a belief that with hard work and strong partnerships they can become reality," Blackshear said. "Over the last 20 years, it has been a vision of this community to transform this riverfront. Today, the vision of Troy University located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River is a reality and we are tremendously excited about the transformations that have taken place, as well as those to come in the future."
Larry Hughes, Chairman of the Alabama Commission of Higher Education and a member of the Troy University Foundation Board of Directors, called the new riverfront campus "absolutely awesome."
"In higher education, it is vital that we invest wisely to more adequately address the needs of our citizens and for the betterment of our state," Hughes said. "I believe that is exactly what you have done here. Good job."
Dr. Dave White, Vice Chancellor of the Phenix City Campus, served as emcee for the ceremony and told the gathering that progress doesn't happen overnight.
"The city of Phenix City first approached the University about locating a campus on the river 11 years ago," Dr. White said. "Think about how much has changed over the last 11 years. Progress doesn't happen without hard work. This campus happened because of great partners."
To close the ceremony, officials dedicated the Daniel Foundation Plaza on the river side of the building, which includes a Trojan Warrior statue by TROY alumnus Larry Strickland.
Bear Brothers Construction served as the contractor for the building, which was designed by McKee and Associates architectural firm. The University will plan to expand the current building in the coming years to bring all of the Phenix City Campus' programs to the riverfront.
Troy University officials formally dedicated the University's Phenix City Riverfront Campus on Friday, July 10, that will initially house business, nursing and social work programs and will include three centers for excellence – the Center for Water Resource Economics, the Center for Risk Management Insurance and the Small Business Accelerator. Troy University officials include, from left, Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., Trustee's President Pro-tem Sen. Gerald Dial, and trustees John Harrison, State Commissioner of Banking, Karen Carter, of Birmingham, Roy Drinkard, of Cullman, Charles Nailen, of Dothan, Gibson Vance, of Montgomery, Dr. Doug Hawkins, of Troy, and Allen Owen, of Eufaula. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)
Phenix City Mayor Pro-tem Chris Blackshear, left, Troy University trustees President Pro-tem Sen. Gerald Dial and Phenix City Campus Vice Chancellor Dr. Dave White unveil a photo of Hou Baozhu, a Chinese artist who has donated a sculpture of a phoenix that will be showcased at the University's new Riverfront Campus, that was formally dedicated on Friday, July 10. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)
Troy University and Phenix City officials formally dedicated the University's new Riverfront Campus in downtown Phenix City on Friday, July 10. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)
Also dedicated during formal ceremonies at Troy University's Phenix City Riverfront Campus on Friday, July 10, was the Daniel Foundation Plaza overlooking the Chattahoochee River. Participating are, from left, Army Maj. Anthony Randall, brigade chaplain of the U.S. Army Airborne and Ranger Training Brigade at Fort Benning, TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., TROY First Lady Janice Hawkins, Bill Daniels, Lyndra Daniels, Ann Boothe and State Rep. Alan Boothe. The Daniel Foundation of Alabama, based in Birmingham, supports education, health, humanitarian and cultural activities throughout the state. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)