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College plans long-term expansion

Melissa Topey • Oct 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

Terra State Community College plans to go big as it rolls out a long-range project expected to cost upward of $100 million.

The community college’s long-range plans — roughly covering the next two decades — encompass changes that could completely alter the makeup of the campus.

The master plan calls for the construction of dorms, academic buildings and fitness and sports buildings, as well as other facilities to meet the needs of a growing student population.

With 3,000 students now taking classes at Terra, the college has seen a 40 percent increase in enrollment since 2006. School administrators anticipate enrollment could hit 5,000 in the next few years.

“We are focused on the future, what we’ve heard from our students and a what our community needs. That T’s why ‘community’ is in our name,” Terra T president Jerome Webster said. ““ We want to be a catalyst for prosperity.” The project is expected to play out in stages s , the first being a new entrance off o Ohio 53. Webster anticipates this segment s of work could cost $1.6 million and a start by fall 2014.

Of the more impressive aspects of the master plan: Terra Village, a proposed 13 1 acres of loft apartments, townhouses and a traditional apartments, among other o offerings. It would cost about $$ 12.5 million to build the first 200 2 dorms, and there’s also a plan to add another 300 dorms.

The project’s total cost is unknown, although Webster said it would be more than $100 million.

Carl Koebel, Terra State Community College’s board chairman, said the school’s leaders are up for the challenge. The project could be funded several ways, including bonds and alumni support.

“It cannot be done on the back of students,” Koebel said.

Administrators started to discuss the college’s future and master plan three years ago, identifying ways to best serve area residents. Ultimately, preparing students for the work force is the main goal.

“Today’s world is tech,” Webster said. “People need that skill set.”

The new academic building will be built with that in mind, he said.

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