Emily C. Fields
Emily C. Fields
The City of Pikeville is led by a progressive Mayor, Board of Commissioners, and City Manager. During this global recession, the City of Pikeville has experienced growth and is seeking economic diversification with more than $300 million in current projects underway and several more projects planned to start.
The City of Pikeville is the rapidly-growing, regional center for healthcare, financial industry, education, legal, retail, and entertainment. While the census data records report Pikeville as a town of 6,909, the City is a service region to approximately 240,000 people. Approximately 10,000 people work here. We offer a strong workforce that can be drawn from across the Big Sandy Region. Major U.S. Highways 23, 119, 80, and 460 converge in Pikeville and approximately 38,000 vehicles traverse the intersection of U.S. Highways 23 and 119 each day. Located in the beautiful Appalachian Mountains of Eastern Kentucky, the City offers breath-taking views and a high quality of life.
The City of Pikeville is at a critical point in developing the future. The Marion Branch Development Project, which exceeds 1,000 acres, will provide much needed developable land for economic expansion, including commercial and industrial area. This development is comparable in size to the existing Downtown area.
There are many more examples of economic opportunity in the City of Pikeville. In November 2011, the Pikeville City Commission entered into an agreement to promote efforts of RealtyLink in development of Pikeville Commons. The retail development is anticipated to house approximately 20-30 national brand storefronts and create 600 jobs. Texas Road House, which opened in August 2011, created approximately 160 jobs and has experienced strong performance. As noted earlier, this is a progressive small town with a high quality of living. The cost of doing business in Pikeville is attractive.
The City of Pikeville has a long history of taking action to successfully complete needed projects. The second largest earth-moving project in the Western Hemisphere is the Pikeville Cut-Through Project, which is surpassed only by the Panama Canal. This project provided many of the resources that have allowed the City to grow and prosper: developable land, reduced flooding, and a major U.S. highway.
Pikeville has long served as the financial leader of the region and one of the strongest financial communities in the Commonwealth of Kentucky. Community Trust Bancorp, the largest state-based bank, has corporate offices in Pikeville. The bank employs approximately 1,200 individuals. Community Trust Bankcorp, US Bank, BB&T, Citizens, and others also serve the area.
Health Care –
The region’s largest employer is Pikeville Medical Center with a staff of approximately 2,300 offering more than 300 services. Construction has started on an approximate $100 million expansion. The hospital recently entered into an agreement with Cleveland Clinic’s cardiac program, which will bring additional growth. The growth has garnered national attention as the National Hospital of the Year for two consecutive years. The hospital also has plans to develop a research component.
Pikeville and Pike County boasts some of the highest educational attainment rates in the region. Quality education is valued and locally available. The University of Pikeville announced a record enrollment this fall of approximately 1,800, which was the highest percentage of increased enrollment by a university in the nation. By the spring of 2014, the enrollment goal is 2,500 students. In addition to undergraduate programs, the organization is home to the Kentucky School of Osteopathic Medicine and a MBA program. The University of Pikeville is the one of the smallest institutions in the country to have a medical school. With plans to significantly expand the medical school, an approximate $26 million facility is under construction. The medical school will increase its enrolment of medical students by an additional 55 students this spring. The University recently announced a partnership with the University of Kentucky as a feeder school for the new dental program. This program will create 15 new dental students in the first upcoming year. The Elizabeth Elliott Akers Nursing Program has announced expansions including a bachelor of science in nursing degree due to high demand. The school won the 2011 NAIA National Basketball Championship. Formerly Pikeville College, the organization changed to university status July 1, 2011. The President is Governor Paul Patton, who is known as the Education Governor for his accomplishments with education reform.
In additional to the University of Pikeville, the Big Sandy Community and Technical College offers a Pikeville campus. The campus has experienced higher enrollment in recent years. The facility offers certifications and associate degrees. The institution prides itself on producing career-ready graduates for high demand fields, which is accomplished by working closely with employers. Recently, the Kentucky Community and Technical College System and University of Pikeville announced the KCTCS/UPike Joint Admission/Joint Enrollment Program. Students wishing to obtain a bachelor degree in one of ten programs can take classes at both institutions simultaneously. The goal is to increase opportunities and continue preparing our workforce for a knowledge-based economy.
Pikeville is extremely proud of its Independent School System. Consistently one of the highest performing districts in the state, Pikeville Independent was one of twelve districts in the Commonwealth to score among the top 10 percent of districts. Also, the district was among the 16 percent chosen nationally as What Parents Want Award Winners.
Downtown is largely professional offices for attorneys and healthcare providers. Approximately 190 attorneys hold offices here. With Federal, Circuit, Family, District, Bankruptcy, and other courts located here, the legal offices are a natural fit. Pikeville is the judicial center for the region. A new $30-million judicial center is under construction in downtown.
Tourism, Arts, and Entertainment –
Under the City of Pikeville control, the 7,000-seat Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center is the region’s entertainment leader. This high-quality facility hosts leading shows, conferences, and other events.
To further support the Eastern Kentucky Exposition Center, a new $15 million hotel project is under construction. The hotel construction is also a result of business demand, as the weeknight occupancy is consistently over 90 percent. H&W Management Company expects the new 114 guest room facility be under construction in 2012.
The City of Pikeville recently signed an agreement to construct a new indoor theater in downtown Pikeville. The long running, 47-year Jenny Wiley Theater is expanding services to downtown Pikeville creating year around entertainment. One of the premier architectural firms in country has been commissioned to design the theater and construction is expected to begin in 2012. The City is also progressive with many other attractions that will create tourism opportunity for the region.