Cameron investing in Duncan
DUNCAN Cameron University celebrated a "groundbreaking" ceremony Thursday for new "wet labs" at the university's Duncan campus.
The project will build fully integrated science laboratories and associated facilities on the Duncan campus. Most of the work will be done inside existing buildings, so there was no shovel in the dirt during the reception.
Cameron President John McArthur said the idea for the project began several years ago.
"This project is a unique opportunity," he said. "Science is a major way of knowing what's going on in the world around us ... We're going to introduce that opportunity to our students here."
He said it's also an opportunity for employers to help their employees re-tool, retain and deepen their skills.
McArthur said the labs are being created for students like Samantha Crone, a 2006 graduate of Duncan High School who is now Cameron student. She began her continuing education years ago and then life got in the way. She said she's been working in health care nine years and is a licensed practical nurse now. Her goal is to complete a Bachelor of Science in nNursing to become a registered nurse.
"Having a science lab here makes it easier for me to obtain my degree, more time at home with my family, more time for work because I don't have to drive back and forth to Lawton," Crone said.
McArthur said Cameron received an $850,000 grant for the project from the U.S. Department of Commerce's Economic Development Administration; $200,000 from the Priddy Foundation of Wichita Falls, Texas, $200,000; $200,000 from the McCasland Foundation; and a matching grant of $1 million from the Duncan Regional Hospital Foundation.
So far, Cameron has raised $2.2 million for the project, which is expected cover the extensive renovations. A firm date for construction to start has not been set yet, but Cameron officials anticipate work will begin within the next few weeks.
Jay Johnson, president and CEO of Duncan Regional Hospital, said as an alumnus of Cameron he couldn't be more pleased.
"What got our hospital involved, we have a dream to train our workforce locally," Johnson said.