WKU “re-gifts” 20 acres to Hardin County Schools

WKU “re-gifts” 20 acres to Hardin County Schools

Tessa Duvall

An action approved at the Board of Regents meeting on Friday shows that WKU knows it is just as important to give as it is to receive.

Regents unanimously approved the “re-gifting” of 20 WKU-owned acres in Hardin County to Hardin County Schools for the creation of an early college and career center.

The land was originally given to WKU in 2007 from the North Central Education Foundation (which is now the Central Kentucky Community Foundation) and is adjacent to Elizabethtown Community and Technical College, according to agenda materials. The donation was made knowing that the land would be used for a higher education or similar facility.

According to a WKU press release, the center “will fulfill several roles.” High schoolers will use the center to take courses in several career-oriented pathways, including health science, engineering, manufacturing, transportation, and culinary arts and hospitality services, according to the release.

WKU and ECTC will partner with Hardin County Schools to provide instruction and dual credit courses, and WKU will also offer collegiate classes in the building during evenings and weekends, according to the release.

President Gary Ransdell said the deal will not cost WKU anything, as it did not pay for the land and Hardin County Schools will pay for the construction of the center.

“We’re not in the habit of giving stuff away,” Ransdell said with a laugh.

Ransdell said he hopes the center will “strengthen the pipeline of students” who choose to attend WKU after high school.

A “2+2+2=4” model could be very cost-effective and efficient for students, he said.

This means two years of dual credit classes while still in high school, combined with two years of general education courses at ECTC and then two years at WKU — either on the main campus or the regional campuses in Hardin County — could equal a four-year degree from WKU.

Dual credit classes cost $200 per class, and ECTC tuition currently stands at $140 per credit hour for in-state students.