Stark State College has found a site for its new Akron campus, and officials are already planning which programs will be offered there.
The $12.5 million campus -- just off Rt. 8 near Summa’s Akron City hospital – is slated to open in two years. About a quarter of the school’s students already come from Summit County, and Stark State President Para Jones says the new campus will likely offer a mix of degrees.
“I can tell you IT, entry-level business, health and programs that are in the highest demand in terms of the employers of this region are the programs we will prioritize for this site.”
The new Stark State campus will also be just minutes from the University of Akron, which Jones says will give the two schools even more chances to collaborate. Currently, several two-year engineering and early childhood education programs are offered at Stark State for students who want to then transfer to Akron for a four-year degree.
Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan says the 11-acre site is perfect for the school and could spur nearby development.
“Parking was important, accessibility was important -- especially expressway and METRO routes. We showed literally, probably ten [sites]; they were also interested in some sites outside the city," says Horrigan.
"I felt – and Dr. Jones also felt – that it was very, very, very important that they be located within the city. And I thought, specifically, closer to downtown if we could.”
Horrigan notes that Akron is the largest city in Ohio without a community college. Stark State currently has a campus in Barberton which will continue to operate.