By Sean Kranske, Contributing Writer
In 2011, West Liberty University opened the WLU Highlands Center in Triadelphia, W.Va. Now, West Lib is once again expanding beyond the Hilltop with the West Liberty University Downtown Center in Wheeling, W.Va. The new location is located at 1100 Main Street, the former location of Horne’s Department Store.
The West Liberty University Foundation began leasing the space last August, and the Foundation has various plans for the Downtown Center that will benefit staff, faculty, and students.
“In the future, we would like to make the space a great resource for anyone in the community who may need admissions help, be interested in making a contribution, or want general information,” said Angie Hill, Executive Director of the West Liberty University Foundation. “Various University departments will be using the space for events and workshops as well.”
In addition, the Foundation also hopes that the Downtown Center will also function as a new outlet for West Liberty merchandise. “We would also like to have some WLU merchandise available to sell to alumni, students, and community members,” Hill said.
Beyond the uses described by Hill, the Downtown Center will also provide a great place for larger events.
“The center will be able to host events for up to one hundred people, including things like guest speakers, seminars, art shows, and social gatherings,” said Vice President of Institutional Advancement Jason Koegler.
The Downtown Center will also prove to be an asset due to its convenient location, offering a more accessible meeting place for donors, corporate sponsors, and stakeholders who would normally have a difficult time making it up the hill.
In addition to all the benefits the new location brings to the University itself, the WLU Foundation also hopes that The Downtown Center will aid the Wheeling Renaissance project that aims to improve the city.
“Above all, we want to be a support entity of the revitalization of Wheeling,” Koegler said, “and by having this space and directly engaging with the local community we are saying that West Liberty University is with you in Wheeling!”