DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The University of Dayton has officially welcomed students into their new space in the Dayton Arcade, and both students and faculty members are ready to leave their mark on the city. 

Vincent Lewis, president of The Hub and the Entrepreneurial Leadership program at the University of Dayton, said he’s looking forward to students getting off campus and engaging in hands on projects that will benefit the city.

“You have students coming into the urban core, coming downtown really connecting campus and UD students to what’s going on downtown. That’s a big step for any university — to really take their students off the campus and get them into the center of the community.”

Lewis said work done in the nearly 20,000 square-foot space downtown will also help connect students to internships and valuable relationships with business owners, encouraging students to invest in their communities long-term.

Third year graphic design and sustainability student, Yamilet Perez, said the space will also allow students to remain in touch with the needs of the community.

“I think seeing the communities downtown and the people that live here and work here — it’s easier to see what you can do to serve them, to be part of them, and just do more of your part to see how you can contribute.”

Associate professor of art and design in the Hub, Glenna Jennings, said that will involve hands on projects that will allow students to think critically about how they can make a difference.

“What we do is community-based, experiential learning in the community,” she said. “Our primary topic is food justice because that’s a way to talk about difficult social issues. And our primary partners are the newly opened a Gem City Market on Salem Ave., as well as the Dayton Foodbank.

As of now, 22 classes and nearly 250 UD students are utilizing the space. Lewis said his long-term vision is simply to see more student and business collaborations in the near future that will continue to benefit students and the city.