Building on the relationship between city and college branch

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Students attending classes at Middlesex Community College’s Meriden Center say they’d like to see more secure parking at night, a college bookstore, more social and academic clubs, a place to gather, and reliable wireless Internet.

For its part, the city hopes to see more student foot traffic downtown to further its goals of becoming a thriving, transit-oriented district.

Both the city and the college say there’s a like-mindedness between the two parties to work closely on partnerships and programs that help students while stimulating the city’s downtown. But even as enrollment climbs, plans for expansion are stalled at the state level.

“There are a lot of moving pieces with the Board of Regents,” said Tami Christopher, director of Meriden Center. “We are working on setting up a meeting with Mayor Manny Santos, and the college president for strategic planning and how it affects the college. One of the best things Meriden can do is to advocate for us at the state level.”

As classes wrapped up for the semester and exams began last week, students said they were satisfied for the most part with the education and services they get at Meriden Center. But they, educators and the city have wish lists, they said could break down some of the challenges to students and improve the center’s visibility in the city.

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