MOUNT VERNON — Although Mount Vernon Nazarene University on Friday held a grand opening for the Buchwald Center and its Schnormeier Gallery, the visual arts center is not yet open for classes.
Henry Spaulding, vice president for academic affairs at MVNU, explained that although the approval process started back in mid-June, the center has not yet received approval from the Higher Learning Commission to conduct classes in the new facility located in downtown Mount Vernon.
The Ohio Board of Regents has approved the use of the visual arts center, Spaulding said, but the Higher Learning Commission doesn’t meet until October and classes cannot be held there until after that date.
“Then,” Spaulding said, “the Department of Education has to approve the site after the commission meets in order for financial aid to be awarded to students registered for classes in there.
“The Higher Learning Commission members are the ones that essentially accredit the school. Then the Department of Edcuation will grant the permission to give people permission to get financial aid after we get the approval from the higher ed. (sic) commission.”
Spaulding said MVNU got the regents’ permission fairly quickly, but it’s been a “little bit of a hassle” waiting for the HLC to meet and approve the site for classes.
“I have talked to the vice president of the Higher Learning Commission,” said Spaulding, “and he assures me it is going to be on the agenda in early October.”
Even though formal art classes cannot be held in the Buchwald Center at this time, studio space can still be used by art students.
A shuttle bus service from MVNU to the center and back to campus will be scheduled at intervals found to be appropriate to get students back and forth. The projected schedule will provide transportation every hour from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Spaulding said the university plans to run the shuttle for those students who are using the studios and for those people wanting to visit the Schnormeier Gallery.
Once accreditation is received, Spaulding said the university will not wait for the end of the term to move classes to the Buchwald Center. The university is poised to start classes there as soon as possible. Spaulding said they actually had to move some art equipment and supplies from the Buchwald Center back to the main campus when classes resumed this school year.
“As soon as we get approval,” he said, “we will move everything down there and should be able to complete the switch in a couple of days. Professors’ offices are already set up there, so, it will just be a matter of moving the art equipment that you use for the various classes and reassembling it over there.”