BRIDGEPORT — Officials from Fairmont State University showed off their new space in Bridgeport’s Charles Pointe development Tuesday evening during the most recent Business After Hours event hosted by the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce.
The 10,000-square-foot space is home to the university’s Regents Bachelor of Arts program, as well as dual-enrollment and early college programs and a number of aviation classes.
The facility includes an open classroom with independent learning pods and group study areas, a computer lab, a large classroom and conference room, a smaller classroom, two offices, an independent learning lab, a kitchenette with seating, a lobby and storage room and flex space that can be used for a variety of activities.
Dr. Richard Harvey, Fairmont State provost, said the university is extremely proud to have extended its footprint into Bridgeport.
“We’re proud of the multiple uses that are available through this facility. It is very feasibly designed — all the chairs and tables match and are all on casters. We can roll them around and do all kinds of things with them,” he said. “Primarily what we’re going to do here are dual-enrollment courses for the high school students in the region, and this is the home of our aviation program since we’re close to the airport and it is also home to our degree completion programs, for those kids who started college and never finished.”
The location, just off Interstate 79, provides easy access for local students, Harvey said.
“The facility is very accessible, very visible and has ample parking,” he said. “It check offs a lot of the things that lets us have a very nice presence in Harrison County, which is a county that we draw a lot of students from.”
Pamela Stephens, director of the Charles Pointe Center, said students have already begun utilizing the facility.
“We started at the beginning of the fall semester,” she said. “We have aviation courses in the morning. Then we have Written English 1 and we have a Psychology 1101 class in the afternoon.”
The facility’s classrooms and workspaces can accommodate a variety of classes at once, Stephens said.
“The one room can hold 150, the big classroom has 50, the computer has 22 and the small classroom has 24,” she said. “We have 84 students currently enrolled. Half of those are in aviation, and the other half are the traditional classes.”
Kathy Wagner, president of the Harrison Chamber, said her organization has several other events scheduled throughout the remainder of the year.
“We’ve got two more Business @ Breakfast events. We have two more Business After Hours events in October and November and then we’ll have a luncheon on Dec. 4,” she said. “That will wrap up our centennial year. It’s been a great 100th year for us, and we’re looking forward to many more.”