Columbus State Master Plan Envisions Campus Makeover
The Board of Trustees at Columbus State Community College (CSCC) met today to discuss a master plan project that would reimagine the layouts of both the main Downtown campus and the Delaware campus. The new master plan, completed by design firm NNBJ, aims to help the college continue to grow by leveraging existing assets and capitalizing on neighboring partnerships at both campuses.
“As we come up on our 50th anniversary, this master plan will hopefully guide us well into the future, hopefully for the next 50 years,” said Board Member Michael Flowers. “This plan is thoughtful, deliberative and inclusive.”
The plan for the Downtown campus (pictured at top) proposes the creation of a new “south quad” on the existing triangular surface parking lot bounded by Spring Street, Cleveland Avenue and Washington/Mt. Vernon. The greenspace quad could be surrounded on two sides by new academic buildings facing Spring and Cleveland with the existing Nestor Hall anchoring the north side of the quad.
“This isn’t just a plan about buildings, it’s about helping students,” explained CSCC President Dr. David Harrison. “There’s been a lot of student engagement in this process and one thing we’ve heard a lot of is that students want spaces to do their homework before they go home, in both formal and informal learning spaces. As a commuter-school, the state doesn’t allow us to build a student union, but we can build other types of spaces to serve some of those purposes.”
The larger rectangular surface parking lot currently bounded by Washington, Spring, Long and Cleveland could be repurposed as a shared parking garage structure, to open up land for the addition of greenspace and multiple new campus buildings that could serve as shared student housing and a conference/culinary center.
“We want to link to Downtown’s urban fabric and create places to gather in the district that aren’t just on campus,” said Kim Way, a Principle at NBBJ who presented the plan to the board today. “We’re proposing new parking garages right off 670 and Cleveland Avenue, so that you can easily get to campus, get rid of your car, and become a pedestrian. That way you’re not driving all around campus to access different buildings.”
Some speculative development is also outlined in the master plan that could be built out as collaborative projects with various neighborhood partners in the Discovery District, which could eventually house more retail, student housing and other types of complimentary development.
“The pace and the timeline of the implementation of the master plan will largely be dependent on partnerships,” said Dr. Harrison. “We also need to make sure we’re maximizing our current facilities first, and keep a real emphasis on renovation.”
The Delaware campus plan (pictured above) is currently only home to one existing building, but contains large amounts of land to build out a much larger branch for the college. The master plan proposes two parking structures and seven additional buildings to host new academic, community, and partnership buildings.
The master plan is not based on a specific target number of students enrolled at the school, nor has an overall cost estimate been completed. The master plan will be presented for vote next week by the CSCC Board of Trustees.
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Renderings provided by CSCC.