EKU receives $90 million to build new Model facility

EKU Model Laboratory School faculty and students celebrate the 2021 high school graduates. 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story is part of a publishing partnership between the Richmond Register and the Eastern Progress.

With the passing of the 2022-2024 budget by the Kentucky General Assembly, Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) is expected to receive $90 million in funding to build a new facility for Model Laboratory School.

Model Superintendent John Williamson made a statement to the Register on Friday regarding the news.

“We continue to be thankful for our local legislative leaders who believe in enhancing an already excellent local education system and providing families with another educational choice," Williamson said. "Moreover, we’re thankful that legislators provided the university with this funding so that it complements rather than takes away from other educational building projects in Madison County or Berea. On behalf of all of us at Model Laboratory School and Eastern Kentucky University, we’re excited for the future, committed to growing Kentucky’s teacher pipeline, and ready to continue providing educational solutions that benefit students and teachers here and across the commonwealth."

EKU President David McFaddin also shared his thoughts on the new facility.

“There has never been a more critical time to invest in Kentucky’s educators,” said McFaddin. “As the only research based K-12 education laboratory in the commonwealth, the General Assembly’s investment in Model Laboratory School affords our faculty and students within the College of Education and Applied Human Sciences the ability to translate their academic research into new tactics and strategies for educators in Kentucky and across the nation.”

Model Laboratory posted a video on Facebook with an announcement where McFaddin is sitting with young students at a table and shares with them exciting news that Model is getting a new school.

The kids react with a gasp, and then are shown to say, "Thank you," to Kentucky lawmakers.

Williamson also stated in the video, "A new facility will not only benefit the students you just heard from, but will be a foundation for the next generation of Kentucky's teachers. From all of us — Model Lab School and EKU — we want to thank you for your continued support."

This announcement is part of House Bill 1, which is expected to be signed by Governor Andy Beshear. This bill relates to appropriations measures providing funding and establishing conditions for the operations, maintenance, support, and functioning of the government of the Commonwealth of Kentucky and its various officers, cabinets, departments, boards, commissions, institutions, subdivisions, agencies, and other state-supported activities.

As of April 13, the bill and its changes have been sent to the Secretary of State according to the Kentucky Legislative website.

Model has made its home in the Donovan Building on EKU's campus since the building was dedicated over six decades ago. In 2009, it was designated by EKU as a revitalization priority.

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