By Jeff Toquinto
July 07, 2017
A familiar name in higher education is coming to Bridgeport.
Officials with Fairmont State University along with the Greater Bridgeport Convention and Visitors Bureau have confirmed that FSU will soon be offering classes at the new CVB building situated at Charles Pointe.
Fairmont State announced it will be leasing the entire second floor of the building that is situated near the entrance of the Charles Pointe development off of Jerry Dove Drive. FSU will be offering a variety of classes, possibly with a focus on criminal justice and nursing.
The school will utilize 10,700 square feet of the building as part of a lease agreement. The lease goes into place Jan. 1, 2018. In the interim, the build out of the facility will take place with classes anticipated to begin several months after that.
“Fairmont State University is pleased to partner with the Greater Bridgeport Convention and Visitors Bureau,” said John Schirripa, Vice Chair of the Board of Governors for Fairmont State University. “Our lease on this part of the new building begins in January of 2018. Planning for educational programming has begun and the University anticipates classes being held at this new Harrison County location sometime in fall semester of 2018.”
The CVB is also pleased to have Fairmont State to be part of the new $3.3 million building that will house CVB operations, as well as that of Connect-Bridgeport. Negotiations are ongoing to land another tenant, and possibly more, for space available on the first floor.
“As long as I’ve been involved in city governments, it’s always been a goal to get higher education into the city,” said CVB Board of Directors President Drew Pomeroy. “We’ve been courting Fairmont State for the last three or four years and we’ve already had a partnership with them from their use of the facilities at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex to events we’re involved with on the main campus of Fairmont State. This is certainly icing on the cake to get them into our new facility.”
As the planning continues, the amount of staff needed by Fairmont State University is undetermined at this point. As for the classes and hours of operation, it will be based on the type of classes that will be offered. What that means is that classes could be on evenings and weekends as well as traditional school hours during weekdays.
Pomeroy said if classes are done on nursing and on the criminal justice side the location bodes well and helps on the economic development front. He said with United Hospital Center and the FBI nearby, it could be a benefit to all parties as curriculum is planned.
“You can’t pick up a paper without seeing an ad for nurses and other healthcare positions that are open and you have the FBI right there as well. This should not only help fulfill needs in the area and the region, but it should create a base of educated workers that land career jobs,” said Pomeroy. “That’s important to growth to have people that can establish a career as opposed to having transient workers. This could go a long way toward making that happen.”
Pomeroy said the deal was done through a cooperative effort of many individuals on the CVB side as well as Fairmont State University. He offered special thanks to FSU board members Dr. Chris Courtney and Schirripa for helping to get the deal complete.
“I was glad to see this project get done as Dr. (Maria) Rose retired,” said Pomeroy. “She’s a wonderful lady and a tremendous help throughout the negotiations.”
Rose retired last month. She stepped down when her contract ended June 30.