Wednesday marked the first day of classes on the Cincinnati State Middletown campus. The opening day of Butler County's first community college went very smoothly and successfully. School officials hoped to have 200 new students admitted and taking classes at the Middletown campus by the end of the first academic year and were pleased to have 185 new students registered for classes by the start. More than 350 students are expected to attend classes in Middletown this fall (including students who are not new and those who attend the school's main campus in Clifton).
The opening of the Middletown campus in downtown has hopes of bringing more people to the school's location and resulting in a more prosperous downtown. Some already say that downtown is more alive than it has been in the past decade and things are continuing to pick-up.
Cincinnati State Middletown Timeline of Events
September 2009: Local businessman and former city councilman Perry Thatcher meets with Cincinnati State’s resident chef to cook at the Manchester Inn. A deal to bring a Cincinnati State branch campus begins in earnest.
Oct. 26, 2010: Agreement announced at Cincinnati State board of trustees meeting that the city of Middletown and the technical and community college will negotiate for the city to buy and then sell downtown buildings for a potential branch campus. College officials expressed interest in the CG&E building and the Manchester Inn.
October 2011: The city purchased the former CG&E, Bank One, First National, Masonic Temple buildings for $300,000.
Dec. 21, 2010: City Manager Judy Gilleland announced that Cincinnati State officials are only considering using the city-purchased buildings: the former CG&E building.
June 28, 2011: An independent market study revealed that there was an adequate base of students to proceed with a downtown Middletown campus.
Aug. 14, 2011: The goal to open in the fall of 2012 is announced.
April 5, 2012: Cincinnati State and Higher Education Partners finalized its contract to bring the county’s first community college downtown Middletown. The deal has Higher Education Partners funding the construction and conversion of two buildings into a community college campus for the Clifton-based Cincinnati State. The 20-year deal between the two has four five-year extension options.
April 13, 2012: City Manager Judy Gilleland signs off on selling the former CG&E building for $202,000 and donating the former senior center to Higher Education Partners. Both buildings will play a role in the future downtown Middletown campus of Cincinnati State, though the CG&E building will be the school's main campus in the city.
April 17, 2012: Cincinnati State hires its first Middletown campus employee, Monetta Pennington, to be the director of marketing and community outreach.
May 4, 2012: Interior demolition and construction begins at the Cincinnati State Middletown campus at 1 N. Main St.
Aug. 9, 2012: Cincinnati State names Michael Chikeleze, an associate dean in the college’s business technology division, the inaugural director of Cincinnati State Middletown.
Aug 29, 2012: Cincinnati State opens with more than 350 students enrolled to take classes. There are 211 new students that have been admitted into Cincinnati State Middletown and 185 new students that signed up for classes.