RADFORD, Va. – Big projects are in the works that may drastically change the way Radford University works and plays.
Radford University President Brian Hemphill gave his annual state of the university address on Friday during which, among other news, he announced two big developments outlined in the university's master plan.
The university is planning to build a full service, multi-story hotel near campus at the intersection of Tyler Avenue and Calhoun Street.
Hemphill said the planned hotel's proximity to campus "cannot be matched." Plus, he said, it will provide amenities not available at other hotels in the area.
Hemphill also announced a plan to develop the riverfront area near the New River, "maximizing the natural beauty and scenic views of Southwest Virginia."
The "River Campus" project will provide outdoor activities for students, staff, faculty and community members.
The development will feature a zipline, a riverfront restaurant, an amphitheater, a boardwalk, a new bridge design and river access for outdoor recreation.
Hemphill also announced a new program called Bridge to RU, which will provide automatic admission to New River Community College students who apply to Radford, but who "may not be ready for the academic rigor of a four-year institution."
As "visiting scholars" at Radford, the New River students will live in campus residence halls, eat in the dining halls and study on campus.
Hemphill said that after their first year of classes at New River, the students will begin their studies at Radford. After their second year of college and first year at Radford, they will be graduates of New River.