Clark State Community College and Springfield City School District are one step closer to beginning work on the college’s Food and Bioscience Training Center at the former South High School.
The Springfield school board authorized the execution of lease and joint use agreements between the educational partners last week.
The college will use $660,000 of $1 million allocated in the state capital improvements budget to renovate between 5,000 and 10,000 square feet of space. The rest of the money will be used to buy equipment, according to Joe Jackson, vice president for business affairs.
According to the 20-year lease agreement, the college will pay the Springfield district — the building’s owner — $60,000 annually to lease 5,000 square feet of space, with the option to use the additional 5,000 square feet at no extra cost.
The school district will own the center, but it is being built specifically for Clark State’s planned Food and Bioscience degree program. Some of the lab space could also be used for a planned aquaculture program, the college has previously reported.
The board is contracted with Kapp Construction to design and build the lab and classroom space.
South High is being renovated to house the Global Impact STEM Academy and the Greater Springfield Career ConnectED Center with an $11.3 million state Straight A grant. Kapp is also the contractor for those pieces of the renovation project.
The school district set aside about half the second floor for Clark State’s use at the beginning of the project.
“Clark State’s partnership with the Global Impact STEM Academy and the partners in the Straight A grant directly benefits the future workforce in our region, especially in terms of college readiness and skill development, particularly in the proposed Food and Bioscience degree program,” said Clark State President Jo Blondin. “We are proud to be a partner and believe that workforce programs such as ours are key to the future growth of Clark County and beyond.”
The food and bioscience program was approved by the college’s board of trustees at their March 17 meeting and must now get approval from the Ohio Board of Regents before it can start enrolling students.