Holton: Bipartisan Vision Needed
Husband Kaine’s Bond Deal Led To JMU Facility
Posted: October 10, 2012
HARRISONBURG — As governor in 2008, Tim Kaine signed a $1.46 billion school bond package to pay for projects such as James Madison University’s new bioscience building on Carrier Drive.
But he envisioned more than just educational infrastructure for Virginians, said his wife, Anne Holton, during a tour of the facility Tuesday afternoon.
Kaine, Holton said, also showed a fundamental attribute needed to represent the commonwealth in the U.S. Senate, she said.
“Tim has throughout his political career focused on bringing people together,” said Holton, referencing bipartisan support for the 2008 bond package. “We’ve got a government in need of [that].”
Kaine, a Democrat, will face another former governor, Republican George Allen, in the Nov. 6 election. The two are vying to succeed retiring U.S. Sen. Jim Webb, a Democrat who derailed Allen’s bid for a second Senate term in 2006.
The wives of both candidates are on the campaign trail about as much as their husbands. Susan Allen, a member of the JMU board of visitors, was in Harrisonburg at the end of last week for two separate stops.
Holton visited JMU as part of her statewide tour of four-year institutions and community colleges to view projects created through the bond package.
Construction on the $33 million bioscience facility began in September 2010, and it opened for classes in August.
David Brakke, dean of JMU’s College of Science and Mathematics, told Holton that the building is meant to be “light and bright,” as evidenced by the wide views of campus offered by some floor-to-ceiling windows.
Holton appeared most impressed with the numerous windows that give looks into classrooms and laboratories, saying it should be easier to attract prospective students into the science programs when they can see work in progress on a visit.
The building also has several lounge areas where students can work, including some with touch-screen televisions that hook into laptop computers.
“It is just fun to see them, everywhere, in all these places,” said Judy Dilts, associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics.
Kaine, as well as U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., toured the building in April.
SRI Shenandoah Valley, a pharmaceutical research institute based at the Rockingham Center for Research and Technology on U.S. 11, also conducts research there.
Contact Preston Knight at 574-6272 or firstname.lastname@example.org