Clark State to get $4.8M to make repairs, add resources

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Clark State Community College improvements

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

Clark State Community College will receive more than $4.8 million from the state’s capital bill to make improvements and add resources to its campus.

The school will receive $2.6 million to renovate Rhodes Hall, $200,000 to start a precision agriculture land laboratory and $400,000 for improvements at the downtown performing arts center.

The majority of the state aid will be spent on Rhodes Hall, which is one of the busiest spots on the Leffel Lane campus and the oldest, Clark State President Jo Alice Blondin said.

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“It’s our first building,” she said. “It’s where — between that and the Allied Science Center, which is also included on the project — 70 percent of our credit hours are taught … We want to make sure we are providing the best learning environment for our students and this renovation will allow us to do that.”

The college will renovate the classrooms to be more energy efficient, Blondin said, and to effectively use the space available.

Student Christopher Brigner said updates are needed at Rhodes Hall. He’s in school to become a physical therapy assistant.

“It seems to be pretty old and pretty small. There are some issues with the AC … because last semester it was really, really hot in the classrooms,” Brigner said.

Over at the Clark State Performing Arts Center in downtown Springfield, the state capital money will be used to install a new dimmer rack and carpeting, both of which are original to the 25-year-old building. That will allow the performing arts center to upgrade its lighting and special effects for shows, Blondin said. The company that installed the dimmer rack no longer carries parts to repair it.

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“We’ve also had the original carpeting in that building so it is in much need of replacement,” she said.

The money also will be used to create a land lab for Clark State’s nine agriculture programs.

“That’s a fancy term for a small working research farm for our students,” Blondin said.

It will allow students to do various soil, water quality and other plant research activities. New equipment will be purchased to increase crop yield and solve problems in the field.

The school has close 100 acres at its East Leffel Lane location. It’s still in the process of identifying a spot for the 5-acre land lab, Blondin said. It’s expected to be in use by the fall semester, Clark State said in a news release.

“We are still in the process of plotting it with our agriculture faculty,” Blondin said.

The renovations and improvements will take in the next six to eight months.

The state of Ohio’s biennial Capital Budget, enacted in even-numbered year, provides money for the repair, reconstruction and construction of capital assets of state agencies, colleges, universities and school districts. The funding can only be spent on facilities, facility improvements or equipment.

Gov. John Kasich signed the capital bill into law on Friday, March 30.

By the numbers

$4.8 million: Money Clark State will receive from the state capital budget for repairs and new resources

$2.6 million: Money in the capital budget for Rhodes Hall renovation

$200,000: Money in the capital budget to create a precision agriculture land laboratory

$400,000: Money in the capital budget for improvements at the Clark State Performing Arts Center

Complete coverage

The Springfield News-Sun digs into important stories about government spending, including recent coverage of efforts to build new schools in Clark and Champaign counties and how the city of Springfield will spend the additional money from its recent income tax increase.

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