Pierpont Community and Technical College makes $2M investment in downtown Clarksburg
Jul. 8—CLARKSBURG — Pierpont Community and Technical College took a huge step Wednesday by closing a more than $2 million deal that will help move its programs off the campus of Fairmont State University.
In March 2021, a bill was making its way through the state legislature to reunify Fairmont State and Pierpont. The bill fell through and the two institutions agreed to remain independent. Under terms of an agreement, Pierpont has until June 30, 2022 to fully be off of the university’s Locust Avenue campus.
One of Pierpont’s programs housed on the Fairmont campus was its Veterinary Technology program.
Wednesday, Pierpont announced it is buying the building in downtown Clarksburg, that was formerly an eyecare center under United Hospital Center.
“Prior to [the separation] we needed a newer, bigger, up-to-date facility. That’s always been the dream and the goal,” said Anna Romano, the program coordinator for Pierpont’s vet tech program. “The separation really finalized that.”
The building located at 211 South Chestnut St. in downtown Clarksburg was packed full of Clarksburg and Pierpont representatives to welcome Pierpont’s newest addition to its Clarksburg campus. Right next door is PCTC’s Gaston Caperton Center.
“Pierpont owns the block,” said Anthony Hancock, interim president of Pierpont. “This [vet tech] program needed a home since our separation from Fairmont State University. This building captivated me because, in my mind, it fit my vision for the future of Pierpont, and that’s to have a presence here in Clarksburg.”
Hancock said both the students and the faculty are excited to have this new location and look forward to further combined work with the city of Clarksburg.
Romano was skeptical about the possibility of a new facility at first, but was surprised to see everything coming together Wednesday. She was met with applause at the ceremony for her work in Pierpont’s vet tech program and the future work she’ll accomplish in the new facility.
“‘I’ll believe it when I see it was my first thought because we’ve tried so many different moves,” Romano said. “When I could see the new facility becoming a reality that was exciting. I’m glad it’s finally happening.”
After finalizing terms of the split from Fairmont State, many of Pierpont’s programs have moved off the Fairmont campus to the Advanced Technology Center in the I-79 High Technology Park. The Vet Tech program, one of Pierpont’s most popular programs, went through several moves, but will now have a home in downtown Clarksburg.
The announcement and occasion was Jimmy Marino’s first official event as Clarksburg’s mayor since being appointed on July 1. Marino expressed his hopes for the future of Pierpont in Clarksburg.
“This is great for not only Clarksburg but the surrounding areas,” Marino said. “To have an opportunity to get an affordable education and veterinary tech is a really great program and I think it’s much needed throughout the area.”
These students were originally completing their schooling in Fairmont, now they’ll be taking their business to the next county over.
“There a lot of possibilities for the benefit of Clarksburg like with restaurants and housing and so forth,” Marino said. “That’s kids coming in to get an education and then they’re going to go out and eat lunch and… might be looking for affordable places to live.”
Renovations on the building are expected to begin this fall and Pierpont’s hope is to have classes begin in the facility by fall 2022, until that time, the classes will remain on the Fairmont State campus.
Reach David Kirk at 304-367-2522 or by email at [email protected].