NCST Can Move Forward on $8M Campus in East Liverpool

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio – By agreeing to lend the New Castle School of Trades up to $250,000, the Columbiana County Port Authority put the last piece in place that will enable the school to build a campus here.

Work on the site, 127-129 E. Fifth St. in the downtown, should begin before the end of the month, Diana Ksiazek, interim executive director of the port authority said Monday night. Minutes before, the port authority board had approved extending the loan to the trades school for seven years at somewhere between 2½% and 3½%.

New Castle School of Trades, based in New Castle, Pa., would pay the port authority interest only the first five years, not paying any principal until year six with a balloon payment at the end of year seven.

Cost of building the campus is likely to be in the neighborhood of $8 million. New Castle School of Trades could not be reached last night.

One of the lots on East Fifth Street is the site of the original Ogilvie’s Department Store.

The New Castle School first sought to build a campus here some 2½ years ago. It hopes to teach driving – trucks and heavy equipment – and welding and electrical installation and maintenance, Charles Presley, chairman of the port authority board said.

The buildings sat empty some two years and the expense of partially tearing one down and rebuilding that section and refurbishing the remainder grew more expensive as time passed.

PNC Bank is providing some of the financing, as is the city of East Liverpool, Columbiana County and some private investors, Ksiazek and Presley said. The school first approached the port authority about playing a role in mid-September.

Because they could speak only for the authority, they declined to provide information they learned from other parties because they could not speak for them. While the port authority will lend up to $250,000 – not the $500,000 earlier bandied about – PNC Bank, the county, the city and other private investors must still work out the remaining details, they said.

As they understand it, Columbiana County commissioners will lend up to $100,000, the officials said.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.