The President's Corner
My wife and I chose to purchase our home and raise our family in Parma over a quarter-century ago because of its many assets. This month I am spotlighting one of those assets that, seems to me, is oft-underestimated. I suggest that this is due, in part, to the fact that many of us are there often and may take for granted its many vibrant activities, while others may have never entered the campus. That asset is Cuyahoga Community College’s Western Campus located at 11000 West Pleasant Valley Road adjacent to York Road.
Tri-C West opened in 1966 in what were the barracks of the Crile Veterans General Hospital. Replaced in 1975 with the current facility, which is really six interconnected buildings, it includes a beautiful central galleria, dining cafeteria, theater, gymnasium and auditorium, library, free wifi, and plenty of classrooms and quiet study nooks. Over the years I have found it to be a great place to get work done.
On occasion, I have the opportunity to speak to the President of Tri-C West, Dr. Donna Imhoff. What impresses me most is her philosophy of making sure the community is aware that Tri-C West is an open campus. That is, “You do not have to be a student here to visit,” Dr. Imhoff invitingly states. “In fact, many community members visit to walk, browse the library collection and take part in the other goings-on on campus,” she added. This piqued my interest due to my concern that the reconfiguration of the Shoppes at Parma (formerly Parmatown Mall) displaced many of our residents who liked to walk the mall. It is safe to say that Tri-West has more walking space than Parmatown did. Not to mention, it has many amenities, including plenty of free parking and restrooms, ADA accessibility, vending machines and a cafeteria to pick up a cup of coffee.
According to its website, “The Western Campus offers a rich mix of direct-to-job and transfer programs. Campus programming includes numerous health career programs, including a stellar radiography (x-ray) program. Students also benefit from industry-standard laboratories and learning environments such as the Advanced Automotive Technology Center and the Visual Communication center. For students who cannot attend daytime classes, the Western Campus offers an Evening/Weekend Associate Degree. Most recently, the Campus opened a regional Public Safety facility featuring both credit and non-credit classes and training for first responders.” They also have programs for senior citizens to take free or reduce cost courses, as well as recreation center classes for people of all ages. The school hosts over 12,000 students each school year.
As an avid runner, I find the Tri-C West campus one of my favorite places to get in an occasional jog, as it is a very safe space to exercise with a lot of sidewalks. They also host a disc-golf course where I often see community members and students enjoying. I also often spot families and dog walkers exploring the vast campus. Personally, I believe the view looking north from the lake in front of campus off of Pleasant Valley Road is one of Parma’s most stunning views during the day and night. The lovely fountain with the Cuyahoga Community College sign and building in the background are a sight I cannot get enough of. Further, on the east side of campus, there are three lakes each in the shape of the letter “C,” as well as veterans memorials and a newly installed 9-11 Memorial. I especially appreciate the poem on display by local celebrity Leon Bibb written in homage to our Vietnam Veterans.
On your November 7 ballot, you will have the ability to vote on Issue 61 –the Cuyahoga Community College District Bond Issue. The issue is worded as follows: “Shall bonds be issued by the Cuyahoga Community College District for the purpose of paying the costs of acquiring, constructing, furnishing and equipping the capital facilities, or such other acquisition of sites, erection, furnishing and equipping of buildings, or acquisition, construction or improvement of property.” The 0.5 mill levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $1.50 per month. With so much to offer Parma, including the fact that Tri-C West is one of Parma’s biggest taxpayers and employers, not to mention the jump start it has provided and continues to provide to so many residents from all walks on their next career, Issue 61 is a great investment in our community.
Tri-C has been a good steward of their dollars over the years and now seeks our support to put an even better shine on Parma’s southern jewel. I hope that you will join my family in voting “YES ON ISSUE 61” in the upcoming General Election.
Parma City Council President Sean Brennan