The DSU degree programs taught in New Castle County will move into its new home on Kirkwood Highway by July 1, a location that will enable the University to expand its offerings in the state's northernmost county.
The DSU Board of Trustees made that a priority during its May 6 special meeting as it authorized the University to spend up to $2 million to be used to renovate the former U.S. Army Reserve Center it has acquired at 3931 Kirkwood Highway (just east of Del. 7).
That decision means that DSU will permanently move out of its current Wilmington site located at 621 Market St., where the institution has been based since circa 1993. DSU first offered classes in New Castle County when it was loaned some space at Howard High School in Wilmington in 1990.
A few years ago, the federal government identified the former U.S. Army facility as a surplus building that could be designated for educational purposes. With the 43,000-square-foot building up for grabs, DSU applied for the property. The U.S. Department of Education awarded the property in June 2011.
Soon thereafter, the University established a Kirkwood Planning Task Force to study the possible academic uses of the building while the U.S. Army transitioned out of its possession of the building.
As a result of the work of the Task Force, the University’s Master of Business Administration (MBA), Social Work and Sport Administration master’s degree programs offered at the Market Street site will be transferred to the Kirkwood property beginning in the 2013-2014 school year. DSU also plans to establish five undergraduate programs at the new location in the 2014-2015 academic year – Hospitality Management and Tourism, Criminal Justice, Integrated Studies, and Math Education, as well as a certified program in Food Preparation/Nutrition.
The U.S. Army turned over the Kirkwood property to the University in early 2013. The University expects to complete a Phase I renovation project – which will create six classrooms, remodel the lobby, upgrade the road entrance and parking lot, install a fire alarm system and code compliant HVAC and electric, as well as create ADA-compliant restrooms and renovate the building’s north wing – in time to be in operation at the new site on July 1.
While Phase I will be designed to accommodate the more than 80 students currently enrolled in New Castle County, a Phase II project will commence later to renovate and modernize the remaining areas of the building.