BYRD’S EYE VIEW: New Happenings in West Virginia
From the Desk of U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd, D-WV
During the recent Congressional recess, I had the opportunity to visit three areas of our state to participate in ceremonies highlighting some new and exciting facilities that will improve health care, create new jobs, and help make the marvels of science more accessible to our young West Virginia students.
At Marshall University in Huntington, we dedicated a new teaching and clinical center at the medical school. With this center, the university will be able to accommodate more medical students, train more residents, and provide expanded health care services. It is my hope that this new $23 million clinical center will provide the tools needed to make a significant difference in improving the quality of life for all West Virginians. Perhaps the elusive cure for cancer or the common cold, or other medical miracles not even conceived at this time will be discovered right here in West Virginia.
In Martinsburg, I joined in marking a significant milestone for the 167th Airlift Wing—the designation of the 167th as a fully operational C-5 aircraft unit. This ten-year journey, which included a $280 million investment that I helped secure through the appropriations process for infrastructure improvements, has resulted in the creation of more than 200 new full-time jobs and increased economic development. With this transformation, we ensure the long-term stability and presence of the 167th Airlift Wing.
And in Green Bank, I was honored to join in dedicating the Erma Ora Byrd Green Bank Science Center and student dormitory. The two facilities are the newest additions to the Green Bank Observatory. The Observatory is the home of the 100-meter, 485-foot tall telescope – the largest, fully steerable radio telescope in the world. In order to help ensure that the Green Bank Observatory could help stimulate the interest of young people and their teachers, I secured $8 million in appropriations funding for the construction of these two facilities. These new facilities are helping to make the remotely located Observatory more accessible for students from West Virginia and other states to visit and more likely to spark their interest in the study of science. It is my hope that this will also prove the start of a broader understanding and appreciation by the public of all that science, radio astronomy, and Green Bank has to offer.
It was exciting to see firsthand the work of our efforts over the years and the enormous impact it is making on our beloved Mountain State. I look forward to many more visits such as these.