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WVU weighing purchase of Beckley campus

BECKLEY, W.Va. — West Virginia University is exploring the possibility of purchasing Mountain State University’s property for a Beckley campus, confirmed WVU medial specialist John Bolt Thursday.

The university has an exclusive due diligence agreement to explore purchase of the campus, although the discussion is in an “exploratory phase.”

WVU President Gordon Gee said, “This truly is a unique opportunity — and one we feel an obligation to explore — especially as it has the potential to increase West Virginia University’s ability to serve our state.”

Mountain State Board of Trustee representative Elmer Coppoolse said this is the chance for Beckley to again see a large educational presence in Beckley. At its height, MSU had an enrollment of 8,200 students across its campuses.

“This agreement is in total concert with MSU’s longstanding desire to retain a vital higher educational learning opportunity in southern West Virginia and to re-establish a continued economic driver for the city of Beckley and surrounding region,” said Coppoolse.

Provost Joyce McConnell adds that the exploration will allow the university to assess the educational and economic impact such a purchase could have on the region.

“Essentially, this agreement allows West Virginia University to explore the facilities, location, academic programs, student services, experiential learning opportunities and other areas at MSU in order to determine if they meet our academic and fiscal expectations,” McConnell said. “We also will be reviewing the economic impact to the area and the opportunities for entrepreneurial engagement.”

Coppoolse said his hope would be that WVU might introduce new educational programs and, most of all, bring a much-needed nursing program back to the campus…

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