You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

Construction firm named for $28M Central State student center

Central State University is moving forward on plans to expand its physical campus and strengthen enrollment.

The historically black university this week announced that Smoot Construction, a Columbus-based minority-owned firm, will lead its new $28 million student center project.

The 126-year-old university also is discounting tuition for some out-of-state students when classes begin Aug. 19, including those from the metro areas of Chicago and Detroit.

“This gives us an opportunity to be competitive,” said Dean Phyllis Jeffers-Coly.

Smoot will ensure equal opportunity for other local minority-owned and women-owned businesses during construction of the student center, which is expected to open in fall 2015, according to Central State. The firm, which also constructed the Hollywood Casino in Columbus and Ohio State University’s new student union, was deemed a “best value” for the university by the Ohio Facilities Construction Commission.

Its selection is pending completion of final development agreements, according to CSU.

“We are confident in Smoot Construction’s ability to execute on our vision for a new student facility that Centralians will be proud of for years to come,” said Central State President Cynthia Jackson-Hammond.

Jeffers-Coly said the new center is “critical” and important to the student experience. “The student center is like the town square,” she said. “For our students to have that gathering space is really valuable.”

Jeffers-Coly also said that offering lower tuition will help Central State compete for students in Indiana, who sometimes live closer to the Wilberforce campus than those from other parts of Ohio, including Cleveland.

“If these students can walk away with less financial obligation, then they’re going to get to play in the economic game. They’re going to get to buy houses, they’re going to grad school,” she said.

Ohio Board of Regents Chancellor John Carey approved the change, which cuts the out-of-state tuition surcharge by 80 percent for residents in Cook County, Ill., Wayne County, Mich., and Marion County, Ind. The waiver reduces tuition $6,000 per year, Central State said.

Indiana students also will get tuition reciprocity that cuts their bills by $7,000 per year for students from 24 counties, including Wayne, Randolph, Union, Dearborn, Jay, Franklin and Allen.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Stafford: Learn about cancer while applauding survivors
Stafford: Learn about cancer while applauding survivors

OK, class, I know it’s late in the school year, but Mr. Stafford needs you to settle down and take your seats. We’re starting today with a little quiz. Save your groans. The torture won’t last long this time. Just three questions, true or false, easy-peasy. But there’s a catch, a reason you might want to put down your cell phones...
Teen charged in Bellfontaine school threat
Teen charged in Bellfontaine school threat

A Bellfontaine High School student was arrested Thursday night and alleged to have made threats against the high school. The Bellfontaine Police Department announced on their Facebook page they arrested a 16-year-old and said that the community is safe. The student is alleged to have uploaded a video onto Facebook Thursday threatening to harm other...
SBDC exec to place more emphasis on existing businesses
SBDC exec to place more emphasis on existing businesses

The new executive director for the Small Business Development Center in Springfield said the agency will likely place more emphasis on growing existing businesses in Clark County. The agency has placed an emphasis in the past in helping small businesses get off the ground, said Rob Alexander, who took over as executive director of the SBDC. That kind...
Finns pay tribute to rock band Kiss
Finns pay tribute to rock band Kiss

Heavy metal fans in Finland decided to rock ’n’ roll all night and honor the band Kiss. >> Read more trending news Fans placed masks on four giant statues in the capital city of Helsinki to honor the hard-rock group, Yahoo reported. State-owned railway operator VR invited four fans of the band to paint black-and-white Kiss masks...
8-month-old gets liver transplant from godmother
8-month-old gets liver transplant from godmother

He’s known as “Finn the Mighty Warrior” on a Facebook page devoted to him, and this 8-month old fighter continues to battle against two rare liver conditions. >> Read more trending news But Finn O’Sullivan won’t have to fight alone. The infant, in need of a transplant, found a match — not from a relative...
More Stories