The West Virginia Institute of Technology’s original campus in Montgomery, West Virginia closed in 2016-17. Portions of the campus are used by a local community and technical college while others are abandoned.
The West Virginia Institute of Technology was founded in 1895 in Montgomery as the sub-collegiate Montgomery Preparatory School for West Virginia University (WVU). 1 It separated from WVU in 1917 and became the West Virginia Trade School. It became a junior college in 1921 and was renamed the New River State School and as a four-year institution in 1931 as the New River State College. It was renamed the West Virginia Institute of Technology (WVIT) in 1941 and began to grant engineering degrees in 1952.
WVIT added a community college in 1966 and began granting master’s degrees in engineering in 1978. WVIT became a regional campus of WVU in 1996, forming West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech). 1 It became an integrated division of WVU in July 2007. 2
WVU Tech had long been beset with declining enrollment by the dawn of the 20th century, owing partly to its remote location and antiquated facilities. In 2011, the state passed the WVU Tech Revitalization Project law in response to shrinking enrollment and financial complications. An assessment of the school over the course of the year identified a number of specific actions that needed to be undertaken, which ultimately concluded that the campus needed to be moved to a more central location such as Beckley.
In January 2015, WVU purchased the former Mountain State University campus in Beckley, 3 and formally recommended that WVU Tech move from Montgomery to Beckley in August. The University’s Board of Governors unanimously approved the recommendation in September. For the 2016-17 academic years, freshman courses were taught at the Beckley campus while all other courses remained in Montgomery. Summer 2017 classes were mostly held online, with all academic programs, administrative offices, and athletic teams moving to Beckley by the fall. 4
Since the relocation to Beckley, enrollment at WVU Tech has increased from 1,106 students in 2017 to 1,622 by spring 2019. 5
- “General Information – WVU Tech.” West Virginia University Institute of Technology, 2022.
- “WVU Tech organizational changes announced in advance of merger with WVU.” West Virginia University, 21 Jun. 2007.
- Murphy, Matt. “Montgomery residents discuss future of city.” Charleston Gazette-Mail, 27 Jan. 2015.
- “WVU Beckley will become home to WVU Tech in 2017, WVU Board decides.” WVUToday, 1 Sept. 2015.
- “WVUIT-Enrollment Comparisons.” West Virginia University.