WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Work is under way at the old Mickey’s Army Navy building in downtown Warren.
The building will be transformed into a new location for Eastern Gateway Community College, which is currently located on Courthouse Square. Spring classes begin Jan. 12 at the Main Street building.
The college offers affordable education to community members that do not have the means to go to a four-year institution or adults wanting to continue their education.
“What I am most excited about is the fact that I know this building has been an institution in the city of Warren, providing sporting goods and camping equipment and clothing for families for decades. Now it is seeing a transformation that is going to help families and young people develop their minds and get career opportunities,” Warren Mayor Doug Franklin said.
There will be evening classes for up to 200 students at the new location. Estimated cost of the renovation is $5 million.
In a related matter, Eastern Gateway Community College President Laura Meeks will be attending the White House College Opportunity Summit this week. Meeks will join President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday.
The summit brings colleges, universities, business leaders and non-profits together from across the country and is one of three held this year that Eastern Gateway was invited to. Meeks is really excited to be attending since the Obama administration believes community colleges are important to providing affordable education.
“To have Eastern Gateway be one of the 164 colleges, universities and community colleges to be invited and for us to be one of them? It’s like wow, I am really impressed,” Meeks said.
The focus of Thursday’s summit is community collaboration to encourage kids to go to college and increasing the college completion rate.
Meeks is retiring at the end of the spring semester and a national search is under way for her replacement.