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Local school unveils expanded campus, new name and identity

The School of Advertising Art in Kettering officially opened its newly expanded campus Friday — along with a new name for the institution, the Modern College of Design.

The expansion added 23,000 square feet to the East David Road school in Kettering. The name will become official this July, school leaders said in a press conference and grand opening.

Now that this expansion is complete, school leaders are already turning their attention to another need for the growing institution — dormitories or residences for students.

“It’s actually an idea that we’re exploring right now,” said Jessica Barry, president and owner of the school. “We have been working with the city of Kettering to identify land that is adjacent to the college. And honestly, now that this project is over, that project will be in full swing.”

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The graphic design and art college -- which has about 190 students today -- has been on a growth track for some time. Last May, the school first said it was launching the $6 million expansion.

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That $6 million investment was partially financed through PNC Bank. Initial renovations to the SAA building were completed in August 2016, additionally.

“By 2025, we project enrollment will increase by 106 percent,” Barry said last year.

“Our faculty and staff needs will increase by 87 percent,” she also said. “This far exceeds the capacity of our current facility.”

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Last December, the now-37,000-square-foot school celebrated authorization for its first bachelor’s degree program from the Ohio Department of Higher Education. National accreditation awaits, but should happen soon, Barry said Friday.

The school has eight new classrooms, a library, a technology center and new conference spaces for up to 450 students as well as 2o to 30 new faculty and staff.

The school was founded in 1983 and has been located in its current building for nearly 20 years. Barry purchased the school in 2013 and has led a three-year enrollment increase of 54 percent, the school said in 2017.

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