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Tag Archive: West Virginia University

  1. Virgin Hyperloop to build Hyperloop Certification Center in West Virginia

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    (Additional information, including resources from the State of West Virginia, West Virginia University and Marshall University, is available in an online media supplement.)

    West Virginia, birth place of Chuck Yeager, the first person to fly faster than the speed of sound, will now be at the center of developing the next innovation in barrier-breaking transportation.

    Virgin Hyperloop announced Thursday, Oct. 8, that it will locate a certification facility on nearly 800 acres of land spanning Tucker and Grant counties where it will leverage intellectual capital and resources from West Virginia University, Marshall University and from across the state.

    “West Virginia is well-positioned to provide a fully integrated solution that advances the nationwide opportunity for hyperloop,” Jay Walder, CEO of Virgin Hyperloop, said. “The engineering and scientific talent, combined with the skilled workforce and collaborative spirit we know is critical to this project, is all right here.”

    Hyperloop moves people and goods in pods through a vacuum tube at speeds exceeding 600 mph enabling travel from Pittsburgh to Chicago in 41 minutes or New York City to Washington, D.C. in just 30 minutes.

    Walder noted that the Hyperloop Certification Center’s role is critical, a necessary next step in taking proven technology and demonstrating to regulators and certifiers that it works and is safe for passengers.

    Work on the HCC is expected to begin in 2021 with a planned Welcome Center, Certification Track and Operations Center, Pod Final Assembly Facility, Production Development Test Center and Operations, Maintenance and Safety Training Center.

    Virgin Hyperloop plans to directly hire 150-200 engineers and technicians for the facility with plans to source talent locally. In addition, the construction and manufacturing of the project will create 7,300 jobs throughout the region over the next five years and the longer-term operation phase will create 6,000.

    WVU’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research predicts the total economic impact of the Center’s ongoing operation on the West Virginia economy to be $48 million annually.

    “Today is a fantastic day for the state of West Virginia, and I’d like to be the first to officially welcome the folks from Virgin Hyperloop to their new home,” Gov. Jim Justice said. “For years, I have been saying that West Virginia is the best kept secret on the East Coast, and it’s true. Just look at this announcement and all it will bring to our state—investment, jobs, and tremendous growth. It’s a true honor and privilege to be selected as the site for the Hyperloop Certification Center and lead the nation in this next step forward for transportation. When we approached Virgin Hyperloop, I told them that we would do everything we could to bring this opportunity to West Virginia. We look forward to working with the Virgin Hyperloop team to create a lasting partnership for years to come.”

    The land, owned by Western Pocahontas Properties and located near Mt. Storm, is being donated to the WVU Foundation in partnership with Virgin Hyperloop.

    “As part of this process, Western Pocahontas Properties employed some of the world’s best environmental planners, including SWCA Environmental Consultants, Planned Environments, Inc. and others, to ensure this new development would complement the area’s uniqueness and beauty,” Corby Robertson, owner of Western Pocahontas Properties, said. “This thorough planning and commitment to our community and environment make this site very attractive to Virgin Hyperloop because they share our values for sustainable growth.”

    However, the anticipated reach extends far beyond the state’s borders.

    “I am committed to building a consortium of universities from around the country who will lend their expertise to further develop the vision of hyperloop,” WVU President Gordon Gee said. “We will also create educational and institutional opportunities for students, faculty and staff to be a part of this program. There is no greater learning lab than what we will build here in West Virginia.”

    Marshall University has worked closely with WVU and others throughout the process.

    “Higher Education institutions are hubs for research, innovation and talent,” Marshall University President Jerome Gilbert said. “Colleges and universities help build and strengthen our communities and in this partnership with Virgin Hyperloop, the awesome opportunity to build the communities of the future is now at our doorstep.”

    The West Virginia Community and Technical College System will also play a key role in helping to create education and job training programs

    Sarah Biller, executive director of Vantage Ventures at WVU, explained these partnerships will help to generate additional interest in a number of innovative projects starting up across West Virginia.

    “This is another example that proves we actually can attract investors, attract the talent and really reframe the conversation for our future,” Biller said.

     

    Read article from source HERE

    Posted on October 8, 2020

    CONTACT: April Kaull, Executive Director of Communications/University Relations
    304-293-3990; akaull@mail.wvu.edu

  2. WVU Board of Governors OKs Three Major Construction Projects and Financing

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    Citing the need to “improve the quality of student life, enrich academic experience, enhance student services, and respond to students’ needs,” the West Virginia University Board of Governors unanimously approved construction plans Wednesday for three major projects totaling $176 million.

    The projects will be funded by a combination of private donations, auxiliary revenue, private financing (bonds) and reserves.

    The projects are:

    · $100 million for construction of Reynolds Hall, the new home of the John Chambers College of Business and Economics on the site of the former Stansbury Hall on the banks of the Monongahela River.

    · $35 million for renovation of Hodges Hall classroom building, which has seen no major renovation since its opening in 1954.

    · $41 million for the next two phases of upgrades to Milan Puskar Center.

    At nearly 180,000-square-feet, Reynolds Hall, named for alumni and financier Robert Reynolds, “will not only be transformational in what it provides West Virginia University from an academic perspective, but it will also recast a portion of Morgantown’s waterfront into a hub of business activity. The true differentiator for the John Chambers College will be that of experiential learning and the overall role it plays in the student experience,” the University said in documents outlining the plan. “Reynolds Hall will encourage and stimulate a model of education that reflects a blend of classroom learning with experiences outside the classroom, ranging from learning labs to events, and from group participation-based projects to training designed to ready students for their careers.

    The demolition of Stansbury Hall has already begun. Reynolds Hall is expected to be ready for occupancy by June of 2022. The proposed Hodges Hall renovation is proposed to include contemporary classrooms; computer classrooms; seminar and meeting rooms; updated office spaces; improved technology for teaching; and a 210-seat testing center. The Board was told the testing center is critical as there is currently no centralized center on campus. This center will help improve the testing process and continue progress toward making academic integrity a hallmark of our academic delivery. Eberly College of Arts and Sciences’ Women and Gender Studies, Native American Studies and World Languages, Literature, and Linguistics will occupy the upper floors. Occupancy is planned for June of 2021.

    The work at Milan Puskar Center includes expansion and renovation of spaces that are more than 10 years old, including the home team locker room, player lounge, equipment room, recovery suite, infrastructure, Hall of Traditions, offices, team meeting rooms and other support spaces. The locker room layout is inefficient for team meetings and is not large enough to support the full team roster. Included in the renovations are upgrades to the building infrastructure, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing systems, along with AV and technology upgrades to support current and future phases of the renovation. The project should be complete by July of 2021.

    The Board also unanimously approved the issuing of up to $110 million in revenue bonds to finance a portion of the projects. A second financing may occur toward the end of 2020. The Board also authorized the reissuing of up to $55 million in previously issued debt that is callable in October of this year. Board members Charles Capito and Taunja Willis Miller both recused themselves from consideration of the financing because their employers are involved in the bond process. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the board is set for Sept. 13 in Morgantown.

    Article by WVU. Click HERE to read original article.

  3. Morgantown, WV – 2018 Top 100 Best Places to Live

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    #43

    On the Best Places to Live list for 2018, Morgantown appears on Livability.com’s Top 10 Cities for Affordable Health Care. Known primarily as home to West Virginia University and its 30,000 students, Morgantown has a wide variety of housing options and neighborhoods as well as downtown shops, restaurants and entertainment nightspots for students and residents. The median age here is 22.6 years old, which contributes to a youthful and fun local culture.

    Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) provides university students with free travel between the spread-out WVU campuses. With amenities like Hazel Ruby McQuain Riverfront Park and the Monongalia Arts Center at their fingertips, Morgantown residents never run out of things to do.

    Article by LIVABILITY

  4. Happy 2018! Another Year Is In The Record Books

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    We hope you and your family had an enjoyable holiday season. The new year is a time to reflect and project. This monthly Black Diamond Realty newsletter reflects on 2017 while providing our projections pertaining to north central West Virginia’s economic activity in 2018.

    It was a record breaking year for Black Diamond and many other companies in north central WV. While north central WV remains consistently vibrant, the tides are slowly turning for the state as a whole, and WV’s entire economic fleet appears to be heading toward brighter days. Several critical sectors led the charge with positive economic announcements in 2017.

    Energy was the cream that rose to the top. Several large pipeline projects are at various stages of construction with the finish line inching closer. Pipelines open up regional, metropolitan markets to WV’s gas production. A cracker plant is under construction in Beaver County, PA with rumors of potentially two additional crackers being built in OH and WV (Parkersburg area). Crackers dissect elements of natural gas into various chemicals which should result in a manufacturing expansion for companies who want to be near critical elements of their production process. Pipelines and crackers are creating a newfound buzz for the energy sector. Black Diamond can testify to the energy sector’s expansion in 2017: Industrial sector leads paced other sectors with a total of 133 unique leads. Black Diamond closed 13 deals with energy related entities.

    The buzz does not stop at our state or even national borders. China Energy Investment Corp signed a memorandum of understanding with WV leadership to invest $83.7 billion over 20 years in various energy related ventures.  Power plants are one potential investment angle. Two gas fired power plants are at varying phases of approval to be constructed in the region. One is in Harrison County. Click here to learn more: http://harrisoncountypower.com/  Oil and gas activity is energizing our regional economy by bringing high paying jobs to our market. The money from these jobs is spent on housing (hotels, apartments), food (grocery stores, restaurants) and entertainment.

    Infrastructure has been a hot topic in West Virginia for many decades. Band-aids have been our state’s application of choice. However, 2017 brought a different style of leadership aimed at changing WV’s story. Governor Justice and his team formulated a plan to use future promised tax dollars to secure ~$3 billion worth of funds to complete road infrastructure improvement projects. Our roads have already benefitted from the Roads to Prosperity Amendment and should improve further over the next decade. Infrastructure is a critical variable for many sectors considering economic expansion.

    Since accepting his role as WVU’s 24th President, Dr. E. Gordon Gee has been focused on expanding the university’s outreach while maintaining its mission of supporting prosperity for the mountain state. WVU Medicine has been aggressively expanding with 2017 announcements that include a $150 million, 10-story children’s and women’s tower on WVU Medicine’s main campus, a $12 million inpatient residential drug treatment facility near Mylan Park (Morgantown), plus it opened a $13.9 million, 25,000 square foot new outpatient facility in Fairmont, WV. Mon General Hospital is also in expansion mode. North central WV should welcome this “medical arms race” as it directly results in a higher quality of life via greater healthcare access, plus economic benefits, including high paying jobs.

    So, what do we have to look forward to in 2018? The energy sector will carry 2017’s momentum into the new year and we will begin to see the fruits of the road bond’s labor as construction projects start. with the additional expansion by WVU Medicine and two prominent interstate developments (White Oaks Business Park in Bridgeport and West Ridge in Morgantown), north central WV will see significant growth with many positive announcements. As the aforementioned economic drivers come to fruition, other areas in the state are also poised for growth. Also, since businesses will have greater discretionary capital to put to work under Trump’s new tax plan, look for businesses to be more aggressive with expansion efforts and hiring practices.

    Best wishes for a joyous and prosperous 2018!

  5. August Newsletter

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    View our August Newsletter: NEW Par Mar Store + Restaurant Opening Soon In Morgantown

    Click Here!

  6. UNIVERSITY PARK IHOP® RESTAURANT HOSTS GRAND OPENING BENEFITING WVU MEDICINE CHILDREN’S

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    University Park – IHOP Grand Opening Celebration
    Pancake Eating Competition to Follow Formal Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

    WHAT:   IHOP® Restaurants will celebrate the Grand Opening of its University Park location on January 29, with 10 percent of the day’s sales benefitting WVU Medicine Children’s from 7am – 10pm. The fun filled event will feature an official ribbon cutting ceremony, words from IHOP Franchisee Bob Sharp, WVU Medicine Children’s Vice President, IHOP’s President, as well as a representative from the Morgantown Chamber of Commerce. The event will conclude with a pancake eating competition showdown.

    WHERE:  475 Oakland Street, Morgantown, WV 26505

    WHY:  The new IHOP location boasts the restaurant brand’s new contemporary design and is one of the first IHOP restaurants to also feature an IHOP Coffee Bar.  It is located on the ground floor of the new contemporary mixed-use residence hall and apartment complex known as University Park and next to WVU Medicine Children’s which improves and saves the lives of children in the Morgantown area. IHOP restaurants nationwide have raised $20 million for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals through its annual National Pancake Day celebration.

    WHEN:  FRIDAY, January 29, 2016

    • Ribbon Cutting Ceremony 9:30 a.m. to 9:45 a.m.
    • Pancake Eating Competition to follow at 10 a.m.
    • 10% of sales benefitting WVU Medicine Children’s from 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

    WHO:
    – West Virginia University President, E. Gordon Gee
    – WVU Medicine Children’s Vice President, J. Philip Saul, M.D.
    – IHOP President, Darren Rebelez
    – IHOP Franchisees, Bob Sharp and Tommy Tsitouris
    – Morgantown Chamber of Commerce Representatives
    – West Virginia University Student Organizations

    ABOUT INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF PANCAKES, LLC
    For over 57 years, International House of Pancakes, LLC has been a leader, innovator and expert in all things breakfast, any time of day. The chain offers 65 different signature, fresh made-to-order breakfast options, a wide selection of popular lunch and dinner items as well as meals under 600 calories. IHOP restaurants offer guests an affordable, everyday dining experience with warm and friendly service. As of September 30, 2015, there were 1,667 IHOP restaurants in 50 states and the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam as well as Canada, Mexico, Guatemala, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar and the Philippines. IHOP restaurants are franchised and operated by Glendale, Calif.-based International House of Pancakes, LLC and its affiliates. International House of Pancakes, LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of DineEquity, Inc. (NYSE: DIN).