OAKLAND CITY — This weekend every suite in the newly completed Boulevard Commons on the Oakland City University campus will be filled with students preparing for the new school year.
The nearly 33,000 square foot building will house 92 students, and community members and local officials gathered Tuesday afternoon to watch as the ribbon-cutting ceremony took place in Oakland City.
Outgoing president Ray Barber said the project has experienced weather delays and even a government shutdown, but he thanked all those involved for keeping the promise that it would be finished for the start of the school year.
"At no time did anyone say to me we cannot get the project completed," Barber said. "Every representative said we will do whatever needs to be done in order to have students in this building when school starts this fall."
The Boulevard Commons is one of the state's Regional Cities project, a competitive program announced in 2015 by the state in which regions would receive 42 million dollars of seed money.
Beth McFadin Higgins, chair of the Southwest Indiana Regional Development Authority, said the four counties of Gibson, Posey, Vanderburgh, and Warrick were up to the challenge.
"We know about southwest Indiana and how great southwest Indiana is," she said.
2.2 million dollars of the Regional Cities went toward this project, the rest was spread across 19 projects that have to be valued over one billion dollars, Higgins said.
"I will put it to anyone to find a college or university who has gifted its incoming president with a brand new building on their second day on the job," incoming president Ron Dempsey said.
Dempsey said he wanted to leave the crowd with a single word to, partnerships.
He said at Oakland City University they believe those partnerships are made possible through people, through God.
"The multiple agencies that have gone in to make this facility possible, form the federal, to the regional to the state to the county to the city to the local," he said. "Thos are partnerships that need to continue and I will welcome partnerships in the future."