The Cummings Center in Beverly

The Cummings Center in Beverly

BEVERLY — After 50 years, North Shore Community College is severing its last ties with the city where it began.

The college is planning to move out of its satellite location at Cummings Center and consolidate classes on its campus in Danvers.

The move, when it is completed in December, will mark the first time North Shore Community College has not had a presence in Beverly since the college first opened in downtown Beverly in 1965.

NSCC President Patricia Gentile said it was “sad” to pull out of Beverly. But she said the college has extra space on its Danvers campus and will save $300,000 per year in leasing and other costs incurred at Cummings Center.

“Our lease was coming due and we thought it was a good time to take a look at bringing those services onto our campus,” she said.

More than 1,000 students and corporate clients per year attended classes and programs at the Cummings Center location, according to Gentile.

The programs included the college’s adult learning center for free basic literacy and high school equivalency test prep courses; non-credit certification programs in such fields as dental assistant, pharmacy technician and computers; and training for corporate clients.

Gentile said the adult education classes will move to Danvers in September, while the rest of the programs will move during the winter break in December.

North Shore Community College opened in 1965 in the Briscoe building, the former Beverly High School, in downtown Beverly. Officials at one time planned to build a campus near Norwood Pond in North Beverly, but that never materialized.

NSCC eventually opened campuses in Lynn and Danvers but maintained a presence in Beverly, first on Sohier Road and then at Cummings Center.

The college had only one building in Danvers when it began leasing space at Cummings Center in 1999. Since then it has built two new buildings. It is also scheduled to break ground this fall on a new wing on its Lynn campus.

The college has 11,000 students, including about 4,000 on its Danvers campus.

Gentile said students who used to go to Beverly will be able to take advantage of services on the Danvers campus such as the library and cafeteria. The campus is also easily accessible off Route 1.

“I don’t think our lack of presence in Beverly will be traumatizing,” Gentile said. “We believe we’re going to continue to serve the public with the same excellent programs.”

Cummings Center has begun advertising the 18,531 square feet of space at the college will vacate. It includes a reception area, office space, conference room, meeting room and eight classrooms, and is near the main building’s entrance.

Staff writer Paul Leighton can be reached at 978-338-2675 or pleighton@salemnews.com.

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