The University of Pikeville (UPIKE) announced that it has received a $40 million Community Facilities direct loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to build the Kentucky College of Optometry.
Pikeville, KY-The University of Pikeville (UPIKE) announced that it has received a $40 million Community Facilities direct loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to build the Kentucky College of Optometry.
The program-which is slated to accept its first class in 2016-will be the first college of optometry in Kentucky. The school will admit 60 students per class, for a total of 240 students. Last spring, the university named Andrew Buzzelli, OD, MS, as the college’s founding dean.
The funding for the project will come from the USDA’s Rural Development’s Community Facilities program. The project is part of a plan to upgrade educational services in Central Appalachia.
“USDA invests in projects such as the college of optometry because they not only create jobs, they are essential to improving the quality of life for rural Kentuckians,” says State Director Thomas G. Fern. “Community Facilities projects are vital for the creation and maintenance of strong rural communities. Rural Development is proud to assist such a worthwhile project that will provide tremendous economic, medical and educational benefits to the region and the state.”
This is not the first time the institution has partnered with the USDA. UPIKE received $32 million to build the facility that houses the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine.
Pikeville is approximately 140 miles southeast of Lexington in Eastern Kentucky.