Ashland University considers GC campus

 A private north central-based university has its eyes on Grove City and its lumberyard site proposed project.

Ashland University, about 90 miles north of Columbus, could call Grove City its next home if the city’s lumberyard site project is successful.

Discussions between city officials and university officials have taken place, though talks have been very preliminary, regarding opening a satellite campus in the proposed redevelopment site.

Grove City Mayor Ike Stage stressed at the Grove City Town Center Plan meeting on July 14, that the talk is very premature at this point and is just that – talk.

Prompted by inquiry, Stage told audience members that having a higher education learning center presence in the town’s center would be a "home run, top of the ninth."

"We went out looking for partners and found Ashland University," Stage said. "We met with them, showed them the lumberyard site and talked about the ‘hoteling’ effect."

Ashland University is a mid-sized regional teaching university, historically related to the Brethren Church. It has four off-campus centers throughout the state of Ohio: East Dublin-Granville Road, Columbus; Elyria; Massillon/Stark County; and Cleveland.

Programs the university offers at various off-campus centers include education, master’s of business administration, nursing, professional development and theological seminary..

Steve Hannan, director of public relations at Ashland University, said discussions between Grove City officials and university officials have indeed taken place.

"Ashland University is investigating the feasibility of developing a relationship with Grove City," he said, "and this may lead to some educational programming being offered in the Grove City area at some point."

Hannan also pointed out that conclusions should not be yet made.

"This is very early on in the discussion phase," Hannan said, "Ashland University needs to determine whether it is a good fit for us to be in Grove City and we are exploring that issue right now."

Grove City officials and project planners agreed at Monday’s meeting that not only does Ashland University offer a good model in terms of satellite campuses, but so does Lorain County Community College.

Nonetheless, said Frank Elmer of Lincoln Street Studio, having a university presence at the proposed lumberyard site project would be advantageous.

"It would be a further draw," he said. "And one thing Baby Boomers, especially, like to learn about is computers. This would be the ideal program."

Combining the university satellite campus and the library would give the lumberyard site an even better draw.

"That would be a home run in the bottom of the ninth," Stage said.


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