CCAC moves forward on plan for new campus in north suburbs

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Plans for a new North campus for Community College of Allegheny County advanced Thursday as trustees approved the second phase of a feasibility study.

Already, one potential location has been identified in Marshall near the junction of Interstate 79 and the Pennsylvania Turnpike, officials said. The board's vote Thursday authorizes Oxford Development Corp. to use $85,000 to study that site more extensively, identify other potential locations and conduct market demand analysis, CCAC spokesman David Hoovler said.

The college said it needs more space than is available at the current North campus in McCandless, which enrolled about 5,600 credit-seeking students as of last fall. It is hoped a new facility will allow more room for career programs as well as workforce development needs.

The search for a new campus also reflects recognition of population growth in the northern part of Allegheny County, Mr. Hoovler said.

The timetable is still tentative, but officials have expressed hope they could break ground in about five years.

"It's too soon to say what the cost of the facility would be," Mr. Hoovler said. "It depends on a number of factors, including what facilities would be in the building as well as the size of it."

No decision has been made about what to do with the existing site.

Also Thursday, the board approved two actions related to its search for a successor to outgoing president Alex Johnson.

Trustees voted to retain the services of the Association of Community College Trustees as presidential search consultant at a cost of $60,000 plus reasonable expenses, Mr. Hoovler said. The board also voted to ask the association to provide the services of an interim president.

The board also passed a resolution honoring the service of Charles Blocksidge, who announced he is retiring after more than three decades at the college in a variety of roles, most recently executive director of local, county and state government relations and special projects.

education - neigh_north

Bill Schackner: bschackner@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1977 and on Twitter: @BschacknerPG.


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