Rio plans to begin operating its Meigs Center at the new Bernard V. Fultz Center for Higher Education at Rocksprings at the beginning of the fall quarter, which starts Aug. 25.
Registration for courses at the Pomeroy campus will begin with the first session of freshman orientation later this week, and university and community college staff are working closely to coordinate course schedules and other services to be provided from the center.
For the past 10 years, Rio Grande courses and programs were provided from a building in downtown Middleport. It closed June 1 as part of the transition to the new Meigs Center at Rock Springs. That center's director, Gina Pines, will assume new responsibilities at the main Rio Grande campus, and Brent Patterson has assumed daily directorship of the new facility.
The new center is located adjacent to Meigs Middle School on the Meigs Local campus at the intersection of U.S. 33 and Ohio 7, on land provided by the local school district.
University of Rio Grande President Dr. Greg Sojka taught the first class Rio Grande offered at the Middleport Center and now predicts that enrollment will increase with the convenience and facilities of the new location.
“Rio Grande students deserve the opportunity to attend classes in an environment which supports learning in every way,” Sojka said.
Patterson said the university plans to offer 18 classes in the fall quarter, including an increase in general education and business courses.
While the Rio Center in Middleport was open only for evening courses, the new center will be a full-time, day and evening facility, offering a “more robust” daytime schedule, Patterson said.
The new center has not yet been approved for occupancy, pending completion of work on the center's sewer system. The new building includes eight classrooms, a distance learning lab and computer lab, conference rooms and office space.
“While many students benefited from programs offered in the old facility, students will now have the advantages of technology and space, as well as a very convenient location,” Patterson said.
“We think everyone will be pleased with our great location, spacious classrooms, and up-to-date technology,” he added. “The new center is a major step forward from which all of our residents can benefit.”
“The team effort of RGCC and URG will increase access, which is important at this time when higher education is necessary for economic development and a better life for many Ohio residents,” Patterson said.
Steven B. Chapman, president of the university's board of trustees noted, “The new Meigs Center represents a very strong collaboration among all stakeholders and a step toward a very unified and successful future.”
The building was built by the Meigs County Community Improvement Corporation with private donations and financing. It will be leased to the university.
Information about course offerings or the new center is available from Patterson at 245-7236.