Marshall BOG approves building timeline for new cybersecurity center | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — The Marshall Board of Governors granted an official approval for construction on the new Marshall University Institute for Cybersecurity to begin next year.

Toney Stroud, Marshall University Chief Legal Officer and General Counsel, expects the building process to start in the summer of 2024.

“We are currently in the programming phase with the developers on this project and hope to begin construction next summer,” Stroud said during a meeting with the board last week.

The new facility, planned to be located at the corner of 4th Avenue and 16th Street, will be four stories and 90,000 square feet. The ground floor will include retail space for restaurants and other businesses. Floors two and three will be designated for academic use including the cybersecurity labs. Stroud said the fourth floor will be leased to industry partners.

The university received a $45 million grant from state earlier this year strictly for the construction of the facility. The bill was approved by lawmakers during a special session in August.

Stroud and Marshall President Brad Smith are expecting big things from the new cyber security center and believe it will have a great economic impact beyond just the Marshall community.

“We have a great program and we think we can grow this tremendously,” said Stroud. “We’re trying to be a driver of economic development.”

“I’m excited about the economic impact that it will have, not only for Huntington, but for greater Appalachia and the east coast of the U.S.,” Smith said.

Marshall University was designated as the second university in the country as a National Academic Center of Excellence for cybersecurity. The designation was awarded just recently from the National Security Council. The other institution is the University of Texas at San Antonio. Stroud said UTSA has partnerships with around 60 different industries.

“They’re created an entire ecosystem around cybersecurity,” he said.

Stroud also told the board that they are currently searching for a new director for the cybersecurity institute. He believes up to 1,500 students can be attracted to the program at Marshall.


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