plans 32-acre Westlake campus
By Kevin Kelley
Published May 7, 2008
Community College plans to buy 32.9 acres of vacant land at the
corner of Bradley and Clemens roads to establish a Westshore campus.
Tri-C officials applied for a change in the city’s
zoning code to allow a college or university on the property, which
is in Westlake’s exclusive industrial zoning district. An ordinance
amending the zoning code was introduced at Thursday’s City Council
meeting and referred to the Planning Commission.
Tri-C will pay $4.6 million, or about $140,000 per
acre, to Bradley Associates for the property, which is located just
north of I-90. The institution’s board of trustees gave its approval
to the sale March 27. The State Controlling Board approved the sale
The college plans to build three buildings on the
property with 186,000 square feet for classrooms and laboratories.
College leaders say the new campus is needed to serve
the needs of students in the Westshore suburbs.
“Western Cuyahoga is a growing area of the county,”
said Dan Minnich, executive director of media relations at Tri-C.
“We see that there is a potential for a growing student population
and we want to serve it.”
Patricia Rowell, the president of Cuyahoga Community
College’s Western Campus in Parma, told Westlake’s Planning, Zoning
and Legislative Committee April 29 that the city’s industrial district
would be ideal for a new campus.
Mayor Dennis Clough said he was pleased that the college
has decided to invest in the city.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for Westlake and
the students in the entire area,” Clough told West Life. “I think
it’s going to be a catalyst for the entire western portion of Cuyahoga
Ward 1 Councilman Ed Hack, the chairman of the Planning,
Zoning and Legislative Committee, agreed.
“It’s an enormous educational benefit,” he said.
Tri-C’s existing Corporate College building on Center
Ridge Road will remain operational and focus on non-credit courses,
said Courtney Clarke, Tri-C’s marketing manager.
Because Tri-C is a public institution, it will not
pay property tax on the 32 acres, which ironically will take money
from the Westlake City School District.
A Westshore campus would aid the city through income
tax paid by 100 to 400 Tri-C employees, Hack said.
A Tri-C campus would not detract from the city’s industrial
district because much recent development there has been warehousing
rather than manufacturing, Hack said.
Clough and members of council expressed concerns about
the effect a Westshore campus would have on traffic in the area,
especially considering current traffic issues at the I-90-Crocker
interchange and the intersection at Bradley and Detroit roads. Cuyahoga
Community College will pay for a traffic study, Clough said, to
determine what improvements will have to be made to manage the increased
traffic that a new campus will likely bring.
In a memo to Planning, Zoning and Legislative Committee
members, Westlake Planning and Economic Development Director Bob
Parry said the proposed location, while presenting a traffic challenge,
is a good match for the proposed campus.
“The proposed location along I-90 ... would not only
give the community college excellent exposure but would provide
a high-value image along
I-90 within Westlake that is likely to be of much greater value
than a warehouse or loading areas which would be very visible along
the I-90 frontage,” Parry wrote. “A college in Westlake would provide
access to an excellent educational facility for Westlake students
and the entire Westshore.”