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NEWS

Nov. 5, 2004

RSU Sets Nov. 11 Groundbreaking For Economic, Community Development Center

Rogers State University will break ground Nov. 11 for its Center for Economic and Community Development on the Claremore campus.

The groundbreaking ceremony is scheduled for 3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 11, just west of the RSU rifle range building.

"Oklahoma's economic expansion depends on providing resources, such as the Center for Economic and Community Development, that encourage business and industry entrepreneurs to fully nurture their vision and, in turn, create jobs for Oklahomans," said RSU President Dr. Joe Wiley.

Scheduled to speak at the ceremony are: Dr. Paul Risser, Chancellor of the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education; Tom Clark, member of the University of Oklahoma Board of Regents, RSU's governing body; Wiley; Claremore Mayor Jim Cochran; Dr. Ray Brown, Vice President for Economic and Community Development at RSU; and Scott Thomas, Vice Chairman of the Claremore Industrial and Economic Development Authority (CIEDA).

The single-story building will have offices for staff from RSU's Center for Economic and Community Development, CIEDA, the Oklahoma Alliance for Manufacturing Excellence, SCORE and other business support organizations. The 7,000-square-foot facility will include incubator space for several entrepreneurial companies. The facility also will provide computer resources, conference/meeting rooms, a business resource library and administrative offices.

The center expects to begin receiving applications in March for the business incubator program, Brown said.

The facility is projected to cost about $1 million with completion targeted for August. Major funding for the project was provided through grants including $350,000 grant from the state regents, $150,000 from the Oklahoma Department of Commerce, $100,000 from CIEDA and $100,000 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

"Rogers State University is extremely pleased for the support given this project by Chancellor Risser, the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, and local, state and federal agencies," Wiley said. "This building will be a physical manifestation of Oklahoma's ongoing commitment to strengthen the ties between business and education."

LWPB Architects & Planners of Oklahoma City is serving as the project's architectural firm, with construction by Sooner Builders of Catoosa.

Established in 2002, the Center for Economic and Community Development fosters regional economic development and addresses the educational needs of business and industry in northeastern Oklahoma.  The center provides assistance with business planning, organization, financing, management, workforce development, production, and marketing.

The center also conducts economic, demographic, and social research related to economic development, and publishes economic reports for northeastern Oklahoma. The center is a recognized Business and Industry Data Center affiliated with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce.

For more information about the Center for Economic and Community Development, call (918) 343-7533.