Projects hope to bring opportunity to Carter County

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ARDMORE, Okla.-- State representative Pat Ownbey sponsored the bill to make the Lake Murray Lodge project happen. He's glad to see that and the University Center project close to becoming a reality in his home county.

"These projects are something that are going to benefit our communities, and our state, and the people in the state, for decades." Ownbey said. "And that's what I'm excited about more than anything."

University Center President Steven Mills says construction began about 2 years ago and will finish by November.

The $15 million building was privately funded, through donations from local foundations, businesses and individuals.

It's a partnership between Murray State College, East Central and Southeastern, but Mills says one day it could be it's own stand alone university.

"Hopefully we'll be turning out students and professionals that'll stay in this community who will work and raise their families, and buy homes, and become our future." Mills said.

Meanwhile, the Lake Murray Lodge is on track for a February grand opening.

Lodge manager Mike Cooley says the $27 million project was funded solely by mineral royalties there at Lake Murray. It'll add new lodges, a lake-side restaurant, a ballroom, and meeting space.

"I don't think there are words to describe it." Project manager Dan Luttrell said. "It's an awesome project to be a part of."

Cooley says the lodge is already booked for the majority of next summer.

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