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The Journal Gazette

  • Courtesy An artist's rendering shows Manchester University's planned $8.5 million Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center.

Wednesday, January 03, 2018 1:00 am

Manchester to add learning space

Alumnus's gift to ease squeeze at growing university

ASHLEY SLOBODA | The Journal Gazette

An alumnus's multimillion-dollar donation is helping Manchester University give students more space to learn.

The college announced Tuesday it will break ground in May on the $8.5 million Lockie and Augustus Chinworth Center.

The two-story building will add 36,000 square feet for student learning and services just north of the Jo Young Switzer Center on East Street in North Manchester.

“We are forever grateful to alumnus Herb Chinworth who gave Manchester more than $5 million to name the facility in honor of his parents, Augustus and Lockie Chinworth,” President Dave McFadden said in a statement.

The philanthropist, who attended Manchester from 1938 to 1940, pledged the donation as part of the “Students First!” campaign that ended in 2014. He died last year.

The Chinworth Center is expected to be open for the 2019-20 academic year. It will bring much-needed room and the ability to grow programs, university spokeswoman Anne Gregory said.

“We have really run out of space,” she said, noting recent enrollment trends and tight quarters at the Academic Center.

Manchester set enrollment records the two previous school years. In fall 2017, it reported 1,562 students, or about 2 percent fewer students than the previous fall.

The College of Business will move from the Academic Center to the Chinworth Center's second floor. Programs include accounting, professional sales, sports management and finance.

Student services – including the registrar, financial services, study-abroad offices and a commuter lounge – will occupy the first floor. The vacated spaces will be repurposed for such uses as storage, offices and classrooms, Gregory said.

Manchester has $6.5 million in hand or in pledges for the Chinworth project and $780,000 for the $1 million Jean Childs Young Intercultural Center, which was previously announced.

The 5,000-square-foot intercultural center is expected to be completed this fall.

The projects are funded with donations, Gregory said, not with tuition.