Joan Weisberg climbed steps from the bottom floor to the fourth floor of the new building on the Marshall University campus, and she was pleased with what she saw.
The Arthur Weisberg Family Applied Engineering Complex is still 15 months from completion, but Joan Weisberg saw beyond the steel and concrete she stood in.
"I love to see this building go up, not because it's a building, but what the students will accomplish," said Weisberg, widow of Arthur Weisberg, the founder of several companies in the Huntington area.
"It's my hope that many of the graduates from this school will stay here in the community and they will have good jobs or they will go into business for themselves, which to me is the ideal thing in America to do, to be an entrepreneur."
The building will have about 150,000 square feet of space, making it 5,000 square feet larger than the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center next door. In dollar terms, it's the largest building project in Marshall's history, said Ron May, director of facilities planning and management at Marshall.
The new building is between the Robert C. Byrd Biotechnology Science Center and the Arthur Weisberg Family Engineering Laboratories. All three are on 3rd Avenue across from the Morrow Library and the Science Building in a former parking lot.
Matt Turner, Marshall's chief of staff, said the building's total cost is $56 million. About $25 million came from a bond issue through the Higher Education Policy Commission. Part came through other bond funding from Marshall, and the rest came from a grant from the Marshall Foundation, with the Weisberg family providing more or all of that money, Turner said.