OUS Campus Community welcomes public

Published 12:00 am Saturday, May 1, 2004

The aptly named Ohio University Southern Campus & Community center put the "community" in its name Friday as it hosted an official openhouse.

OUS' newest building, located just off campus at 1508 S. Ninth St. in the former Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, has been providing space for a variety of school and community activities since opening in February. The university made it official Friday with food, musical entertainment and a little community spirit.

"The goal really is exactly as the name states. We are building connections between the campus and the community," said Dr. Kim Keffer, director of enrollment services. "We want to provide the opportunity for students to interact, do joint projects, get the students involved in volunteerism and more."

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"We are a campus that the community built. We try not to ever get away from that. The Campus & Community center is one more effort to give back."

A variety of community education classes are being offered including dog obedience, introduction to computers, quilting, shirt design, photography, aerobics, sign language and more. Individual costs and times vary.

For more information about any of the offerings, call 533-4588.

OUS purchased the building more than three years ago with plans to open a child care center. It became clear that the building did not fit those needs. Now that remodeling has been completed, the building has the facilities to accommodate a wide variety of uses.

A community meeting room downstairs is available for group activities such as wedding showers or reunions. A computer lab is open to the public, if they call in advance.

The SkillsMAX Center is a computer lab equipped with assessment software and a certified testing center that allows a company to look at all the positions it offers to determine what technical and personal skills are needed for each job. It also allows employers to perform an assessment of all the employees to match their skills with a suitable job.

Upstairs, the former chapel area is being used by the university's activities band. University officials believe it would be an ideal place for a theater/cafe area to host cultural events.

"I would like to see some coffee house-style events: poetry readings, open mic night, small theater productions," Keffer said. "We plan to have student leadership conferences and I would like to see a movie night."

The entire building can be rented for $175 for a half day.