While Wright State Dayton campus is focusing on budget cuts, 80 miles away in Celina, the Lake Campus is growing. They recently broke ground on a new 7,000 square foot expansion project. Last year they finished an equally large expansion project – the construction of their new Agriculture and Water Quality Education Center.
They have also shown significant increases in enrollment, according to Jay Albayyari, dean and chief administration officer.
Dr. Albayyari took the helm of Lake Campus in April 2015. Since then, he has been able to secure around four million dollars in state funding, 1.5 million of which has gone to the Agriculture and Water Quality Education Center. The rest is being spent on the new facility now under construction.
The new facility will directly serve three purposes, according to Albayyari. First, it will accommodate increased interest in the nursing degree by adding new nursing facilities. Secondly, it will house a library. When he arrived three and a half years ago, the library was being stored in a trailer, Albayyari said. Thirdly, the new building will include spaces for science education laboratories.
When it comes to making decisions about the construction of new facilities, Lake Campus looks locally.
“We make sure we offer programs that are needed by the regional community. The programs we offer are needed for workforce development in this region,” Albayyari said.
Take the Agriculture and Water Quality Education Center for instance. By adding that last bit in the title, “Water Quality Education,” Lake Campus wants to show an awareness of growing concerns that agricultural run-offs and irrigation processes are negatively affecting nearby bodies of water.
“The people here love their lake. And we wanted to teach the students about green methods of doing agriculture to ensure that this lake goes unharmed and continues to be healthy,” Albayyari said.
Lake Campus is on track to continue being the fastest growing four-year degree-granting institution in Ohio, Albayyari said.
They are also looking forward to expanding their athletic program by adding a new sports complex.
Albayyari has already made strides here by moving the school from an Ohio Regional division to a better conference where they play against smaller schools from Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states. Lake Campus also plans to add an advanced manufacturing facility in the near future, according to Albayyari.
There’s greener pastures growing in Celina as they continue to grow their Raider community.