The Marshall University Board of Governors today approved two construction projects for the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine and Marshall Health and approved the naming of a new softball facility as the Victoria Farley Softball Facility.

The board also authorized President Brad D. Smith to move forward with negotiations for the sale of university-owned property between 23rd and 25th Streets along 5th Avenue. The land was initially identified as a possible location for Marshall’s baseball field, but plans for the complex shifted to another location closer to campus.

Marshall’s Vice President for Strategic Initiatives and Corporate Relations Toney Stroud said the property will be sold at a price not less than $750,000 per acre. The university owns about eight acres of land on the site, which also includes acreage owned by the City of Huntington.

The board approved $6.7 million in renovations to the former Strayer Building located in Teays Valley which will serve as an academic toxicology laboratory, occupational health clinics and support space, as well as expansion of a dermatology suite and other clinical space. The phased upgrades are being financed through a federal allocation, supplemental funding from the state and clinical revenue.

Approval was given to buildout the second floor of the school of medicine’s Robert C. Byrd Rural Health and Education Center in Chapmanville, West Virginia. The multi-million-dollar renovation will provide additional primary, specialty and subspecialty care, as well as telemedicine. The first floor is currently leased to Coalfield Health. Construction is expected to be completed this fall.

During his presidential report, Smith said that the university has reduced its operating deficit from a projected $28 million to $22 million.

“I’m pleased to tell you that our financial plan is working,” Smith said. “If we stay on the course and continue to execute well, we see a pathway to a strong and sustainable university. I want to thank the campus community because we reduced our structural deficit from a forecasted $28 million going into this year to $22 million as we sit here today and that primarily came from growing our enrollment, tuition and fees and residential housing.”

Smith said that an additional $3 million has been identified by faculty and staff which would reduce the structural deficit again as the fiscal year concludes.

Today’s meeting included a recognition for two former board members who passed away recently. Board chair Geoff Sheils remembered Jim Bailes and Phil Cline with a moment of silence and words of gratefulness for their service.

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