EGCC to ‘Recharge’ the East Side of Federal Street

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – After Eastern Gateway Community College completes the purchase of the three buildings it uses in downtown Youngstown, the institution will be able to take on a larger role in the revitalization of the district.

Many universities today are changing their landscape to appeal to students and populations, said Art Daly, vice president of EGCC’s Youngstown campus at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Good Morning, Mahoning County! breakfast. EGCC looks to follow suit, with planned upgrades including new greenspace, improved lighting, more outdoor seating and new walkways, he said.

A $13 million state bond issuance would fund the project, which Daly expects would take two to three years to complete after the buildings are purchased, he said during the chamber breakfast. EGCC currently leases Thomas Humphries Hall at 101 E. Federal Street, the Health and Workforce Development Center at 101 E. Boardman Street and its student services center at 139 E. Boardman Street.

“We’re getting close,” he said. “We’re finalizing a lot of things to get the purchase of the three buildings completed. Once that’s done, we can start looking at how we’re going to upgrade the downtown area. We are going to recharge the East Side Federal.”

More than 20,000 students are enrolled at Eastern Gateway, Daly said, either at its campuses in Youngstown and Steubenville or through online courses. In 2019, EGCC’s enrollment increased by 47%.

EGCC’s nursing program continues to flourish, he said, and EGCC is partnering with Mercy Health, Salem Regional Medical Center and Southwoods to “stay on the cutting edge.

“We’re here to keep students here and engaged with the community,” he said.

Rendering shows some of the upgrades planned for EGCC.

Erin O’Donnell, director of partnerships and community relations at America Makes, started her speech at the breakfast program by explaining what America Makes is – an additive manufacturing and 3D printing hub.

“We’ve created an additive manufacturing ecosystem and in this ecosystem is Youngstown State University, Eastgate, MCCTC, YBI, the chamber and Brite,” O’Donnell said. “What we’re all doing is driving Youngstown’s additive manufacturing roots.”

Also at the Regional Chamber’s breakfast, Mahoning County Commissioner Dave Ditzler touched on the Campus of Care project at the former Youngstown Developmental Center in Austintown. The site has been purchased and the campus will be able to provide 150 new jobs, he said. Its staff will also be able to serve nearly 500 people daily, he said.

A $300,000 grant through the Mahoning County Mental Health and Recovery Board was one of the initial investments in the campus, as well as funding through the state of Ohio, Ditzler said. To get the former center up to date, $1.5 million will have to be invested, he said.

“There is such a need for assistance with the disabled,” Ditzler said. “When the facility shut down, it displaced so many people and we got so many calls from family members. We looked at this as an opportunity to keep it on a campus-like setting and provide wraparound services from different organizations that all work together.”

The Campus of Care will be completed by the end of the year, Ditzler said.

With an aging community in Mahoning County, commissioners partnered with the Area on Aging 11 Inc. to try to bring in new funding to help keep the elderly in their homes longer, Ditzler said. In addition, a regional 911 system was created and the county has merged with the Mental Health and Recovery Board to fight addiction, he said.

“There’s a lot of good things we work hand in hand with local communities and political subdivisions in the county to make things happen for all of us,” Ditzler said.

Pictured above: Art Daly, vice president of Eastern Gateway Community College’s Youngstown campus, discusses proposed upgrades to the campus at the Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber’s Good Morning, Mahoning County! breakfast.

Copyright 2020 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.