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ECOT Purchases Southland Mall

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Development ECOT Purchases Southland Mall

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    Press Release:

    Online school purchases Southland Mall

    COLUMBUS (Ohio) – June 28, 2012 — ECOT (Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow), the state’s first and largest online K-12 school, has purchased the Southland Mall property (3660 S. High St., Columbus) from Bob Evans Farms.

    ECOT opened in a single suite in the mall in 2000 and has now grown to over 15,000 enrolled students and 842 employees, with over 225 now working in 16 suites on the mall property. ECOT has leased all of its office space from Bob Evans since opening.

    After exploring purchasing another building or leasing office space elsewhere in Franklin County, school officials agreed to purchase the 145,000 square foot mall and 27 acre parcel for $2.95 million.

    “The purchase of the mall is the most cost efficient option to accommodate ECOT’s growth,” said Steve Sellers, ECOT’s chief operations officer. “We know that this is a location that works well for us, and we hope to be here for many, many years.”

    After comparing the cost of future leases and ongoing operating costs, the school’s costs will be comparable to its current facilities expenditures following the purchase. The school had started a building fund in 2009 to save money for either the purchase of a building or for moving expenses.

    “As a public school that receives less than half the funding of traditional urban districts including no property tax revenue or facilities money, we must be incredibly vigilant with our spending,” Sellers said. “This purchase not only demonstrates the unprecedented growth and success that ECOT has experienced during the past 12 years, but also a commitment to the South Side of Columbus where we started.”

    After adding 140 teaching positions last school year, ECOT expects to add close to 100 teachers for the beginning of the 2012-2013 school year. The school is also adding jobs in technology and administration.

    Bob Evans Farms will remain a tenant in the mall until their move to New Albany is complete in 2014. The school also plans to invest in improvements to the exterior of the building and parking lot upon purchase.




    What does this mean for the amazing flea market section of the mall?



    The “EXPO” part of the mall, which had the flea market on weekends, was torn down earlier this year. It had significant water damage and wasn’t to code. That part of the mall was the original Gold Circle store. The flea market moved just north and across high street.



    This is great! Okay, I’m biased since I spend a fair portion of my life at this location. The parking lot in particular could use a major refresher. It’ll be great to see the building find a new life now that most of the shops have gone elsewhere.

    BTW, please note on the press release, they did mention there are openings, especially in tech and social media. Go to the ECOT website and click on “jobs”. It’s honestly a great working team.



    Ditto what catnfiddle said. A great move for ECOT and a great happening for the Southland/South Columbus area. If past enrollment growth and expansion are any indication, ECOT will certainly be around for a long, long time to come, and there should be many opportunities ahead for job seekers in education, service, and technology within this school organization. I would certainly encourage Ohio licensed teachers seeking jobs to monitor and apply for postings through ecotohio.org. Please also note that most of our teachers work from home full-time, anywhere within the state of Ohio via business class internet access paid for by the school.

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