New building unveiled at Campbellsville, Harrodsburg named after Odells

Published 8:37 am Friday, February 9, 2018

The new building at the Conover Education Center, on Campbellsville University’s Harrodsburg campus, has been named after Delmer and Delores  Odells, who were killed in a car crash last May. Wes Carter, executive director of university outreach, said the Odells were true staples in the Harrodsburg and Mercer County communities.

Kendra Peek/
Michael Carter, president of Campbellsville University, speaks during the dedication of Odell Hall and the groundbreaking of the third building at the Conover Education Center.

“They lived the very definition of a servant leader’s life. Their Christian impact on the community will live on,” he said. “The whole community misses them and we wanted to do our small part in honoring all that they stood for and all that they’ve done. We felt inspired to do this.”

The Harrodsburg couple, along with their 3-year-old granddaughter, were killed in Marion County on May 11, 2017, when a tractor-trailer crossed the center of Bluegrass Parkway, hitting them head-on. Their then 5-year-old granddaughter survived the crash with serious injuries.

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During the event, Michael Carter, president of the university, thanked those who had “stepped in” to make the opportunities available for students.

“We may be private, but our purpose is very public,” he said. “We are planning a $5 million total investment in Mercer County. We went from one and a half full-time people to three to four, to over 30 people. It’s much like bringing industry to Mercer County. We don’t produce wenches, we produce Christian individuals who give and keep giving.”

He said he was amazed in how things had grown in Harrodsburg since the Conover Education Center opened in 2016.

“If you had asked me if we’d be opening a second building, have plans for a third and fourth, I’d have said I don’t think so, you’re dreaming dreams,” Michael Carter said, smiling before the crowd. 

The ribbon-cutting ceremony for Odell Hall, a 4,500 square-foot building, has been open for about a month. The event was also a groundbreaking for the next building, which will be a 17,000 square-foot facility, with a dedicated chapel, a coffee area and a school of cosmetology.

Wes Carter said after the event that the current school of cosmetology will become a school of barbering once the new facility has been built.

Construction on the new building will begin in the next few months, he said, and is planned to be open by September in time for fall classes.

The third building will also be a school of education and home to criminal justice classes.

Wes Carter said they are in the process of acquiring another property nearby that will house expanded healthcare programs, including launching a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine.

“There’s not one in seven states around us,” Wes Carter said.

They also have plans to acquire a piece of land to build a gymnasium for the school’s basketball teams.

During the ribbon-cutting, the Carters recognized Freddie Hilpp, owner of Hilpp Construction, for making a donation toward that plan, by giving him a basketball signed by the Campbellsville University Harrodsburg men’s basketball team.

Wes Carter said they believe the expansions will “produce dozens of brand new jobs over the next year and even more in the coming years.”