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Marshall officials break ground for planned Institute for Cyber Security

By Katelyn Aluise, The Herald-Dispatch

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Marshall University broke ground Friday for its new Institute for Cyber Security, which they hope will be finished by fall 2026, according to Toney Stroud, chief legal officer and vice president for strategic initiatives and corporate relations.

Several current and future students of Marshall’s cybersecurity program also attended the ceremony in anticipation of the new facility.

The building, Marshall University President Brad D. Smith told The Herald-Dispatch, will be about 80,000 square feet with four floors, or maybe taller. He said the first floor will be mixed-use, meaning he hopes to have some retail and restaurants available.

The second, third and fourth floors, Smith said, will be the academic areas. He said the building will have 13 labs in total, a secure operating center and more private and secure efforts on the top floor.

In addition, Smith said he hopes the institute will be an asset that local private industry can build around.

Smith used an institute in San Antonio, Texas, as an example, and said that about 60 different businesses have built around it since its construction so they might tap into the research and technology.

“I believe this is going to be a catalyst for the entire region and for the state,” Smith said.

Smith said the reason this institute will become important, aside from the cybersecurity program Marshall already has, is there are certain levels of security and sophistication that are required for national defense that cannot be made broadly available to the public. This means the university needs to be in partnership with the Department of Defense and the United States Cybercom.

“So what we want to have is a set of assets that you can capitalize on as an undergraduate student and a graduate student, but then if you actually go through certain certifications, you can be a part of the national security and infrastructure,” Smith said.

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