A 120 year-old institution will soon be relocating in southern West Virginia after receiving the go-ahead from Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin.
Tomblin has signed a bill that allows the West Virginia University Institute of Technology to move from Montgomery in Fayette County to Beckley in Raleigh County, taking over the campus of the former Mountain State University.
House Bill 4310 was approved by lawmakers in early March.
In August, the West Virginia University Board of Governors voted to approve the relocation, citing concerns over building infrastructure on the campus and its inability to attract new students. But state code required the headquarters be located in Montgomery.
The bill changes that requirement, taking effect in early June.
WVU has said they intend to offer freshmen courses at the Beckley campus in the fall of 2016, transitioning its entire academic offerings in the fall of 2017.
Lawmakers representing the Upper Kanawha Valley have argued the move would devastate the economy of the region, especially the city of Montgomery and its 1,700 residents.