WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Feb. 24, 2023 — In an effort to improve its services to students and to remain accountable to its stakeholders, West Liberty University is planning on closing its Highlands Center this spring.
“West Liberty University has considered this move for several years, and we agree that now is a good time to move forward with our plan to close this site. This decision was made carefully and is data-driven,” explained Dr. Cathy Monteroso, WLU’s interim president.
“We appreciate our partnership with the Ohio County Development Authority (OCDA) and the opportunity WLU programs have had to serve the community at this location.”
Monteroso announced the upcoming closure of the center to faculty at its Faculty Senate Meeting held on Feb. 21, 2023, after informing the OCDA of the decision the day before.
“We want to be transparent and responsible to all our stakeholders, students, staff, and faculty, and the site wasn’t being used enough to warrant the ongoing expense.”
“Any classes that meet at the Highlands or any activities that take place there currently are in the process of being moved and all involved parties have been contacted.”
Monteroso also indicated that the increase in online learning impacted the decision.
“To meet our students’ current needs, many courses have shifted to hybrid, remote and online formats. Therefore, continued occupancy of the facility does not accommodate our students’ needs and the institution’s mission.”
Cancellation of the Highland Center lease is expected to be an agenda item at the next regular meeting of the WLU Board of Governors on March 29, 2023.
WLU utilized the second floor, 15,000 square foot facility as classrooms, meeting, and conference space since 2009. The center is located along Cabela Drive in the Highlands shopping complex, just next to the Fairfield Inn & Suites.