Fairmont State University hosted an Open House at the Charles Pointe facility in conjunction with the Harrison County Chamber of Commerce’s Business After Hours to allow the community to see the new space.
The 10,000-square-foot-space includes an open classroom with independent learning pods and group study areas, a computer lab, large classroom and conference room, a smaller classroom, two offices, an independent learning lab, kitchenettes with seating, lobby and storage room along with flex space for a variety of uses. The primary purpose of the facility is to create a “home base” for online degree-completion programs such as the Regents Bachelor of Arts as well as dual-enrollment and aviation classes.
Provost Dr. Richard Harvey said the location in Bridgeport is easily accessible and a great opportunity to continue expanding Fairmont State’s reach in Harrison County since a lot of students already make the transition to Fairmont after high school.
“The facility is very accessible, very visible and has ample parking,” he said. “It checks off 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.”
Harvey also noted that it’s in a close proximity to the airport, where the hangar resides for the Aviation Center of Excellence. This location allows aviation classes to be hosted onsite and then when they are ready to fly, to make the short drive to the hangar.
Pamela Stephens, director of the Charles Pointe Center, said students began utilizing the facility the first day of classes for fall semester, August 19, and it’s been great.
“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.”
With the various classrooms and work spaces, Stephens said the building can accommodate several classes at once. It also offers a space for students who are working on their online degrees an area to work as well as study.
"This opens up access and graduating with a degree. It allows students to actually take classes who might be able to fit it in their schedules otherwise, we have a lot of virtual opens and eight-week options,” she said. "We’ll also be offering Professional Development and Continuing Education courses. Those are in the works and we’ll be having those classes and trainings very soon.”