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Columbus State Studying Potential Bond Issue

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Columbus State Community College
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The Columbus State Foundation is running a feasibility study for a potential $300 million, 30 year bond issue to support facility upgrades and maintenance.

The community college with campuses in Columbus and Delaware is one of nine public, two-year colleges in Ohio that can’t place bond measures directly on the ballot. State lawmakers would first have to give colleges like Columbus State authority to put the matter to voters.

A number of other tech and community colleges currently have the legislative authority to do so.

“Having a bond issue would be an outstanding way for us to be able to have a dedicated source of funding,” Columbus State spokesman Brent Wilder explains.

He notes a potential bond issue won’t be on the ballot anytime soon. 

Wilder says the school has needs that its current funding will have trouble keeping up with, and as workers retrain for new occupations, that strain could become more apparent.

“We know that we have quite a lot of deferred maintenance on our existing buildings already that we don’t have the money, either from the state or from our own assets from tuition, to be able to address adequately,” Wilder says.

If the college convinces lawmakers it’s a good idea to authorizing schools to issue new debt, they’ll still have to face the voters. Last year, northeast Ohio voters rejected a $40 million bond issue for Lakeland Community College in Kirtland.