OGDEN — A Weber State University center that will provide services to underserved populations in Ogden is set to open in October.

The Community Education Center is being built on 26th Street and Monroe Boulevard and will be used as a space where community members can benefit from GED, ESL and computer literacy classes. The center will have advocates that will help the community navigate through the process of enrolling in college.

In 2015, Weber State University bought the land where the center is being built. Brian Stecklein, associate dean of the Division of Online and Continuing Education, said the cost of the 11,000-square-foot building was $5 million.

The building was initially expected to be ready by the end of the summer, but due to contract issues, it was delayed for about two weeks, Stecklein said. It is now expected to be finished in mid-September.

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BD 053118 WSU Education Center 04

The new Weber State University Community Education Center on the corner of 26th Street and Monroe Boulevard in Ogden, shown here on May 31, 2018, is under construction.

The center will also house a preschool, the Ogden Civil Action Network and the Center for Community Engaged Learning, Stecklein said. 

“This is meant for (the community) and it is an opportunity to come in and help them reach their educational goals, and help them with their families and life,” Stecklein said.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, from 2012 to 2016, only 18.7 percent of those 25 and older in Ogden had at least a bachelor’s degree. 

> Ogden schools score below average on graduation and third-grade literacy rates

The building will have four classrooms, two conference rooms and a kitchen that will be used for the different activities that will be hosted there.

“This is a very exciting thing for the city of Ogden and for Weber State University as we try to be effective in trying to reach out and help the community,” Stecklein said.

Luis Lopez, the center’s director, said the location of the building was strategically selected as part of its mission of serving the populations that need these services the most.

“We want to go and meet the people in their communities,” Lopez said. “We want to remove barriers that have traditionally prevented people from accessing postsecondary education.”

Those interested in learning more about the preschool and how to sign up for classes can contact the center at 801-626-7911.

“We also want to help the community members who might not be ready to start university with other programs that might help them,” Lopez said. “We want to make sure the community knows this is their center. We are going to work very hard to build partnerships and relationships in the community for them to feel that way.”

Contact education reporter Sergio Martínez-Beltrán at smartinezbeltran@standard.net or 801-625-4274. Follow him on Twitter @SergioMarBel and like him on Facebook at Facebook.com/STANDARDEXSergio.

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