James Russel from Kettering is browsing the book store on his first day of class at Antioch University McGregor. It’s usual preparation for an entering master’s student, only this time, it’s not just the students that are new to the turf. Last Sunday, McGregor welcomed incoming and returning undergraduate and master’s students to its new 25 Million dollar building on Dayton-Yellow Springs road.
At 55, Russel is above the average age for degree candidates at the adult learner campus, which lies at 40 for master’s students and 38 for undergraduates. With years at the same position working for Montgomery County, it was time for a career change. “I was attracted to the accelerated full-time Management program,” Russel says on his way back into the classroom on the first floor, for the second portion of the day. “It’s 22 months. I want to a little more control over my life.”
Overall, students are positive about the new building, which lures learners with new facilities previously unavailable to McGregor students. “Wireless internet, we didn’t have that,” one returning Management student says, recapping the day with two fellow student outside of the main entrance. “The Gym,” her friend, a Human Development student, adds. “But it’s not as big as the [the College’s]. I heard it’s more of a gym, like when you go to a hotel.”
I think it will attract certain people. I just wish it would have been closer to the main campus, or be incorporated in the main campus somehow. I love the culture,” reminisces Terri Oreggio, a returning management student.
But the move to the new 94,000 square foot space doesn’t come only with conveniences. “The library here is a hole in the wall,” says Danielle Fodal, a Human Development Student scheduled to graduate in the spring. “Really, what’s the point of having it here?” The building, although spacious, does not provide a cafeteria, leaving students to microwave their own meals or rely on the vending machines in the student lounge. “For lunch, you’ve got to drive now to get something to eat.”
As to whether the move away from campus would cause a change of culture at the new school, students were of different opinions.
“You know, I thought that. But coming back to the classes and meeting the people here, it’s still the same.”
For Fodal, the move away from campus means missing a piece of Antioch. “I’m worried about the environment, I’m talking school-wise, what we’re learning and all. When I came in we had the informational session, where we learned about Horace Mann. We walked around the campus, we explored the buildings. I I think that was very important. The people coming in now are going to miss that.”
Although she isn’t particularly fond of the view on the corn field, Oreggio thinks building the new building was a positive move. “Whether there was a need for the new building or not, I think it attracts certain students.”
The closing of the college will most definitely have an impact on McGregor, thinks Fodal. “And it should. They should be very sad that they built this place, knowing that that place is in trouble. It was hard for me to be at McGregor, knowing we are coming to a better place, yet they are not going to have a future. That was very sad.”