INSTITUTE, W.Va. — West Virginia State University stepped into the future Friday afternoon for what it hopes will be a return to the institution’s roots.
A groundbreaking ceremony was held for a new student residence hall. The new Judge Damon J. Keith Scholars Hall will be the first student housing facility built on the WVSU campus since 1969.
WVSU Board of Governors Chairman Tom Susman said the Kanawha Valley school is looking forward with a concentration on the past.
“We have to return to our roots,” Susman said. “We serve a lot of commuter students and we want to continue that but we need to build back the campus and attract students to stay on campus. The way you do that is with residence halls that meet the needs of today’s students.”
The suite-style residence hall will house nearly 300 students. Susman said it will be an honors hall.
“I think it will help us attract a newer generation. It says to students ‘if you achieve academically, here is your reward,’” Susman said.
The residence hall will be named after Judge Damon J. Keith, a 1943 West Virginia State graduate who has served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit since 1977. Judge Keith was on hand for Friday’s groundbreaking.