Welch Talks About New ASU Projects

For Dr. Chuck Welch, it was not the usual lengthy visit when he appeared on AstAteNation Radio today on The Ticket, but nonetheless, the Arkansas State University system president covered a variety of topics in a 15-minute time span.

While he didn't elaborate, Welch did leave his audience with an intriguing piece of information regarding the proposed multi-purpose facility adjacent to Liberty Bank Stadium's north end.

"I expect there will be a couple of announcements soon regarding the phasing in of construction that could begin soon," Welch told co-hosts Randy Myers and Keith Merritt.

When pressed for more information on when such announcements might come, Welch responded by saying "probably by football season."

Last September, ASU officials announced plans for the project, which at that time had a $22 million price tag attached to it. Recent modifications that will include loge seating and other outdoor amenities have increased the price to approximately $27 million. Welch indicated that announcements regarding financial assistance for the project may also be in the foreseeable future.

Welch also said work continues to move forward on proposed plans to open an international extension campus in Mexico. "Chancellor (Tim) Hudson is in Mexico right now," Welch said. "He texted me late last night that he had met with the Governor of the state." That "state" is Querétaro, which is "a very affluent part of Mexico," according to Welch. "It's about two hours from Mexico City, and has a vibrant economy."

Welch said the ASU-Mexico project could end up as a $55 million investment, having grown from an estimated $25 million when the idea was launched. "I expect to go down there myself in the fall," Welch added.

Randy Myers is the co-host of AstAteNation Radio. The program airs Monday-Friday from 11-1 on The Ticket 970am/95.3fm and on the web at 953theticket.com.