Columbus State Community College and the Columbus Region are embracing a transformative moment after the voters of Franklin County approved Issue 21, a bond issue to raise $300 million for capital improvements. The College is a central Ohio powerhouse, serving 45,000 students, 75 percent of whom become employed in the region.
We are thrilled for Columbus State’s President, Dr. David Harrison, and other College leaders, and admire their vision and leadership for this accomplishment. Without question they are trusted custodians of the public money. Through our relationship with Columbus State over the past four-plus years, we’ve become increasingly enthused and inspired by the College, and have witnessed first-hand the profound impact they have on their students and the region’s workforce. We are also extremely proud of the community for recognizing the College’s value and their support of the levy. The passage allows the College to position itself for the future and serve our community in even more consequential ways.
We’ve had the privilege of supporting the College’s work on numerous initiatives, including neighborhood planning, campus planning, development potential and strategic facilitation. Our role on the Capital Plan—the basis for Issue 21—included facilitating 30 workshops with academic units, administrative staff and students. The input gathered in these sessions helped identify the most essential investment needs and opportunities. This insight was the foundation for the statement of need document, which served as the foundation for the Capital Plan.
We’ve also worked on behalf of the College and interests in the surrounding area on critical projects such as coordinating the work to rebuild Cleveland Avenue (which included making the case to secure $7.5 million from the City of Columbus for the reconstruction), facilitating the process that led to the branding of the neighborhood as “the Creative Campus” (a collaboration with the City of Columbus and neighbors such as The Columbus Museum of Art, Columbus College of Art and Design, and large employers such as State Auto Insurance), and leading the pre-design work (site location and street vacation) of the newly-opened Mitchell Hall (to house the highly-rated hospitality management and culinary arts program).
We’re excited to continue to serve with the College as they transform the lives of students and provide tomorrow’s workforce.
This is a “moment” for all of US.