Sinclair to close Eaton and Austin Landing locations

Sinclair Community College is planning to cease operations at its Preble County Learning Center and at an office at Austin Landing.

The Preble County center in Eaton will be completely closed by August, according to a resolution approved by trustees and reviewed during a board meeting Tuesday.

Sinclair leaders decided to close the learning center because of “sustainability concerns” that date back to 2015, according to the resolution. Though enrollment at the Preble County location was strong when it opened in 2009, it began to dip in 2013 and never fully recovered, according to Sinclair.

At the end of fiscal year 2017, the Preble County location generated around $42,000 in net revenue for Sinclair and in fiscal year 2018, the learning center had lost around $201,000, according to Sinclair.

Classes at the Preble County center were ended indefinitely at the end of the academic year on May 6. Sinclair had been leasing space from the Preble County Youth Foundation in the same building as the YMCA of Greater Dayton’s Preble County Branch at 450 Washington Jackson Road in Eaton.

Sinclair is also planning to close a location at Austin Landing that was used to address the regions workforce development needs. The Austin Landing location will close because Sinclair plans to open a new Centerville learning center at the former Far Hills Church it purchased in April, said president Steve Johnson.

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The college was paying $150,000 a year to rent space at Austin Landing, a shopping center south of Dayton of Interstate 75. The lease for the space is not up until Oct. 25, 2019, but Sinclair officials plan to negotiate an early end to the agreement, according to a resolution approved by trustees.

Sinclair chief of staff Adam Murka said the decision to shutter each location was about making sure the school is “aligned to our community.” Murka said the school will try to limit the impact of the closures by making sure online offerings are readily available.

“What we’ve tried to do is make sure we’re offering the programs…in the places that people need them and want them,” Murka said. “Over the course of the past 18 months we have bought our Centerville campus, which we’re excited to begin the process of rolling out, and we have started to wind down some of our other operations.”


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