A $150,000 donation by Paducah Bank has put West Kentucky Community and Technical College (WKCTC) over the halfway mark in reaching its $2 million goal for the Paducah School of Art and Design (PSAD) campus.
“We’re very, very pleased to be part of this,” said Paducah Bank President Mardie R. Herndon, Jr. during a news conference Monday at PSAD’s Madison Hall. "We may be standing at the intersection of Ninth and Madison but we really are at the intersection of arts and education."
WKCTC began a fundraising campaign last year for the completion of the Paducah School of Art and Design Lowertown campus. The final phase of the campus project would convert the historic, 29,400-square-foot Kitchens Inc. building at 905 Harrison St. into space for the college's two-dimensional art programs, including painting, drawing, digital photography and graphic design.
The project cost submitted by the state is $10 million with a $2.5 million match by the local community. WKCTC President Barbara Veazey said $500,000 has already been invested in design costs, and the college launched a campaign for $2 million last October. “Paducah Bank’s generous support of the Paducah School of Art & Design has pushed us over the $1 million dollar amount and moved us closer to the creation of a full campus environment in Lowertown,” Veazey said.
PSAD enrollment has grown from 160 students in spring 2008 to more than 425 students by the fall 2014. Renovations to the Kitchens building are expected to begin July 1 and be completed by fall 2015.
Paducah Bank CEO Joe Framptom said one of “the great joys” of being a community bank is being able to give back to the community that has supported and enabled the success of Paducah Bank. I think one of our obligations is to return a good portion of that success to our community in the support of very worthwhile projects,” Framptom said. "And I can tell you, speaking on behalf of all of us at Paducah Bank, it is more of a blessing to give than to receive. What joy it really brings to us, a member of this vibrant education and arts community, to be able to support with a donation this (PSAD) endeavor."
Framptom said the renovation project will be a catalyst for heightened growth in Lowertown and downtown Paducah.
"I am continuously impressed with the vision of Dr. Barbara Veazey and the faculty of West Kentucky Community and Technical College. This institution has broadened the base of higher education in our community for decades,” Framptom said. "Now our community, and particularly our downtown historic district, will gain the advantage of yet another educational opportunity for students both locally and around the nation. The plans for the Paducah School of Art and Design are exciting, and we believe this institution will become a fundamental element in tying together arts and education in a neighborhood already recognized nationally for its creativity and innovation."
Veazey said Paducah Bank has long supported educational efforts in the region including the University of Kentucky’s Engineering program, Challenger Learning Center, Murray State University’s Regional Campus and the Community Scholarship Program. “We have also shared the common vision of the arts as a driver of economic development and enhancement of our community,” said Veazey. “With the fundraising goal halfway completed, we are now reaching out to the community at large.”
Pledges may be made over a five-year period. For information about supporting the PSAD, contact Ashley Wright at (270) 534-3084 or visit www.supportpsad.org.