Alive in the Arcade
Four years after President Eric F. Spina announced the University of Dayton would be the anchor tenant in the major redevelopment of the historic Dayton Arcade, an important landmark to the city’s downtown, the vision was fulfilled Aug. 23 as students brought books, art supplies and cups of coffee to The Hub Powered by PNC — a refreshed place of creativity, ingenuity and rich history — for the first time.
About 250 students from a variety of majors, including undergraduates studying art and design as well as entrepreneurship, have in-person classes at The Hub this fall.
“I think design and architecture is really important to the ambiance and environment you create, whether it’s in a learning environment or a working environment,” said Yamilet Perez Aragon, a senior graphic design major, when interviewed by local media on the first day of classes. “Having a place that feels really alive — with fresh colors and light coming in — makes me feel more energetic to contribute and be active.”
At 95,000 square feet, The Hub, a partnership with The Entrepreneurs’ Center, is among the largest university-anchored innovation hubs in the country. It places students alongside entrepreneurs and venture capitalists, generating a creative environment ripe for partnerships and learning, said Scott Koorndyk ’94, president of TEC.
The Hub includes shared and private office spaces, meeting rooms, conference areas, pop-up retail opportunities, learning labs and classrooms. Its four floors were once the home to five-and-dime retailer McCrory’s and are adjacent to the rotunda.
“We tried to retain as much of the original ambiance and history as we could,” said Vince Lewis, president of The Hub and director of UD’s Crotty Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, whose offices moved to The Hub.
Classroom spaces include the latest in technology — and one has a moveable type press that’s more than 100 years old. The conference room has a special touch: a table made from one of the former doors of UD’s Chapel of the Immaculate Conception.
“We talk about bringing people to the table in our Marianist culture,” Lewis said. “You have to think about all the people who will be connecting to UD’s history in this space” — and the students who will be deepening their connection to Dayton, thanks to The Hub.