The Times West Virginian

November 16, 2013

Pierpont celebrates downtown partnership

Ribbon-cutting held at Veterans’ Square

By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian

FAIRMONT — Pierpont Community & Technical College celebrated its newest location at Veterans’ Square in downtown Fairmont with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Friday.

“This facility at Veterans’ Square allows for our students to partner and interact within their own community and gives them practical experience in partnering with downtown businesses,” Dr. Doreen Larson, president of Pierpont, said.

Through a partnership with the City of Fairmont, Pierpont was able to move some of its programs and administrative offices to Veterans’ Square earlier this fall. Larson said the support of the community has made the move a success.

“On behalf of the Pierpont family, I extend sincere thanks to our city officials, our local business leaders and our legislators for encouraging this partnership,” she said.

Several community leaders were present at the ceremony, including representatives from the city, county and state.

County Commission President Randy Elliott and Fairmont Deputy Mayor Chuck Warner both read proclamations declaring Nov. 15, 2013, as Pierpont Community & Technical College Day.

“We welcome Pierpont Community & Technical College to downtown Fairmont and look forward to their continued partnership with the City of Fairmont,” Warner said.

According to Larson, the new space at Veterans’ Square will be a great asset in helping the institution achieve its mission.

“The generous and affordable space, the convenient bus stop, the construction of the state office building, the ample parking and the adjacency of the courthouse contribute to what you might call an ideal location her at Veterans’ Square.” 

Kate Greene, the executive director of Main Street Fairmont, said Pierpont’s presence in downtown will significantly contribute to the development of the community.

“Having Pierpont Community & Technical College in our downtown will pave our way for progress,” Greene said. “They moved in and brought with them ideas, energy, resources, innovation and passion. We welcome Pierpont Community & Technical College to this neighborhood and thank them for sharing our vision for a beautiful downtown Fairmont.”

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony, those in attendance toured the facility, which was designed by students and faculty in Pierpont’s Applied Design program.

“This space at Veterans’ Square presented a unique opportunity for our applied design students and their professors Rachel Beach and Beth Newcome,” Larson said. “Under the mentorship of these professors, applied design students were let loose on the space inside, and they were able to envision, plan, design and renovate the space and tailor it to the needs of the program with the student perspective front and center.”

And as Pierpont continues to expand and improve, Larson said the institution is inching closer and closer to its ultimate goal.

“We aspire to be nothing less than the greatest thing that ever happened to Fairmont, the greatest asset to Marion County and the best community college in the great state of West Virginia.” 

Email Kaylyn Christopher at kchristopher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.