A collaborative project between Arkansas State University and Centennial Bank leads to the groundbreaking of a new Welcome Center on the Jonesboro campus. The center will have a full bank branch, as well as services to introduce visitors to Arkansas State. Interim Chancellor Dr. Doug Whitlock says public-private partnerships, such as the Welcome Center, is something that is needed in higher education today.
"This kind of partnership is even more important with the advent of outcomes-based funding," said Whitlock. "Growing the enrollment here and retaining students will be very important. This building will help in that objective."
Regional President of Centennial Bank Davy Carter says this will help provide another economic driver for the region.
"We are doing this because this is the economic life-cycle of this area and we don't want to fall behind," said Carter. "We want to be forward-thinkers and this project helps in that goal."
Ground breaking ceremonies were held at the location of the center at Aggie Road near the College of Nursing and Health Professionals building. The 38-hundred square foot facility is expected to be open by the end of the year.