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Point provides value for community

Point University has had a major impact on the local economy since relocating to the Greater Valley Area. The private college with an enrollment of nearly 2,000 students across the state now has its main campus located in West Point, a town with roughly 3,500 residents.

Business owners in West Point and the surrounding communities have shared that once the university opened its doors, there was an immediate impact on the area, with a palpable increase in foot traffic and revenue.

While no person or entity is universally loved, response by some to the content we have run related Point has been somewhat puzzling.

In the recent months, we have placed a continued focus on increasing the amount of local content in the newspaper on a daily and weekly basis. As Point is an important institution in the Greater Valley Area, coverage of the university has increased as well.

In doing so, we have received much-appreciated feedback from our readership on our coverage of Point. Most positive, some not. Most were justified in wondering why there was a sudden increase in attention toward a university that often went unmentioned in the past. Some of this can be chalked up to the growing pains of a completely new editorial staff.

Some, however seem to be unaware of the economic and cultural impact the university has had on the region, questioning why we have dedicated newspaper real estate to the school.

Since relocating permanently to the Greater Valley Area in 2012, thousands of college aged students have migrated to West Point and the surrounding communities. They have eaten in our restaurants, shopped in our stores, taken part in community activities and generally had a positive impact on the community. The new residential building under construction will house approximately 500 students when complete, furthering the local economic impact. This is an entity deserving of local coverage.

Point University deserves the support of the community, not only for what it has and still does for the area but what it could do in the future.

Steven Thomas is the managing editor for The Valley Times-News. He can be reached by phone at 334-644-8012 or by email at steven.thomas@valleytimes-news.com.