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National University campus receives renovations 

The National University Scripps Ranch campus recently underwent an internal facelift. (courtesy of National University)

National University campus receives renovations 

By Jill Alexander 

Not all university campuses are created equal.

Take the National University (NU) Scripps Ranch campus at 9980 Carroll Canyon Road, for instance. It recently underwent a facelift with more to come.

This is not a traditional campus where students sit in classrooms or lecture halls. Rather, students at NU take courses online.

These days, the two-level main building for staff and student support at the Scripps Ranch campus has become “more innovative and interactive,” thanks to the renovations.

“We were looking to make our headquarters at Scripps more interesting since it has only been used as a home for a call center and student support,” said President and CEO Dr. Mark Milliron, PhD. “It’s such a beautiful place from the outside and has floor-to-ceiling windows and high eucalyptus trees. We wanted to do something different.”

The transformation began in December 2022 by turning “cubicle farms into something more interactive and innovative.”

The second floor was completed a few months ago and serves as a community events center and offices for NU staff.

Along with nice interior offices, there is a board room on the backside with views of the eucalyptus trees and interactive spaces.

“We put pictures of our students throughout the facility with QR codes next to the photos of our grads,” Milliron said.

“Because we serve non-traditional students, working students and military students, these photos help people get a sense of who we serve,” he said. “You can scan the QR code and it will direct you to a story about that student in vibrant detail.”

One might think such renovations were costly, but “It hasn’t been a giant investment since we’ve done a lot of it with our in-house facilities team … The cost has been around $300,000 to revamp the inside and we will probably spend another $100,000 to finish the bottom floor and do more on the outside,” Milliron said.

So, what were once cubes before the pandemic are now an open site where folks can do remote work if they want, sit in multiple seating-and-meeting style neighborhoods, or gather in rooms designed for hybrid meetings.

“When work began, there were floor-to-ceiling cubes, and it was heartbreaking to see this space with glorious windows as a cube farm,” Milliron said. “We reimagined the space and got rid of all the cubes on both floors, creating a more open ‘we learn space’ instead of a ‘we work site.’”

Renovations will be completed on the first floor in early 2024.

“It will have big open spaces for events and co-working, meeting spaces, small conference rooms, and four boardrooms, as well as a place for hybrid meetings,” Milliron said. “Also, we’ll have spaces for our partner nonprofits like the YMCA to use for meetings or for corporations to rent.”

In the future – with fundraising – there may be an outdoor amphitheater to hold receptions and other events. There are also plans to make the front door of the facility more accessible and parking easier to navigate.

Speaking of parking, customers who visit the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market on Thursdays have been using NU’s parking lot across the street for the past few weeks.

“When the market manager came and asked, I saw no reason not to connect and support the local community. We are all about San Diego and want to be supportive of the community in general, and we are thrilled to support the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market and businesses there in particular,” Milliron said.

NU started 50 years ago with the intent of educating active-duty military and veterans wanting to transition to the non-military workforce. Since then, it has expanded to include adults seeking to change their lives through educational opportunities.