Kentucky State University held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013, for the Kentucky River Thorobred, the university’s new aquatic vessel that will serve as a laboratory for undergraduate and graduate research. The ceremony was part of the university’s regular Board of Regents meeting.

“We’re here for the ribbon cutting of the newest member of the Kentucky State University family,” KSU President Mary Evans Sias said.

The boat will also be used to teach Kentucky’s schoolchildren about the river’s history and ecology. The construction of the Kentucky River Thorobred was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture.

For more information about the Kentucky River Thorobred, visit the College of Agriculture, Food Science and Sustainable Systems.

Sias said it took three years for the project to come to fruition even after some said it could not be done. She said $1 million was used to renovate the exterior of the Old Federal Building, which is now called KSU’s Downtown Annex. The next phase will use $2.2 million to create the Kentucky River Interpretive Center, which will include interactive stations that highlight various aspects of the river.

Regents and other guests had an opportunity to preview plans for the interpretive center, located inside KSU’s Downtown Annex.

“This is a monumental moment of pride for Frankfort’s Riverfront Development and for me personally,” said Joy Jeffries, executive director of the Frankfort/Franklin County Tourist and Convention Commission.

Frankfort Mayor William May also congratulated the university on the achievement and pledged his support of opportunities at KSU.