Stark State College is looking at Summit County for a possible expansion, including at a soon-to-be vacant department store in Akron.
One location it's considering is the Macy’s at Chapel Hill Mall, which is closing. Stark State spokeswoman Marisa Rohn says the new campus needs to have ample parking and good access to public transportation.
“We’ve had requests from the community and business to expand our presence in Summit County and have that community college-workforce training mission represented in the area.
“We’re looking for ample parking, good access to the highways and public transportation. And we want to make sure it’s the right fit for our students and the community. So, we’re looking at a lot of different locations right now and partnering with the city and other organizations to find the right fit.”
Rohn adds that a quarter of Stark State’s students are from Summit County, and the new location will give the school a chance to work with area universities. Stark State already has a campus in Barberton, which Rohn says will co-exist with the Akron location.
This will not be the first time a former department store in Northeast Ohio is transformed into a school: Ohio Technical College’s PowerSports Institute moved in 2008 into what used to be a JCPenney at Randall Park Mall. And the former Polsky's department store in downtown Akron is now part of the University of Akron's campus.