Central State University to Partner with the City of Xenia
WILBERFORCE, OH. - Central State University and the City of Xenia will formalize its long-time collaborative relationship by jointly supporting a petition to annex 159 acres of CSU's land into Xenia. The annexation signals the beginning of a concerted effort to strategically link both the city and the campus for future joint economic, educational and developmental expansion.
The move, which is part of a multi-phased effort, reflects a shared vision for growth for Central State and Xenia. By becoming a part of Xenia, Central State will save on surcharges it pays for city services and it opens the door for Central State to become a more engaged business partner with the city of Xenia on education, business attraction and workforce development initiatives.
Xenia City Manager Brent Merriman said, "For years, the relationship between the City of Xenia and Central State University has not been as progressive or rewarding as it could have been to establish this community as a major economic force. The partnership between the City and Central State University to collaborate on annexation not only fulfills cost-saving fiscal goals, but, also further signals Xenia's game-changing mentality and vision to further transform our community into an economically viable and sustainable region providing jobs, education, leadership, and enhanced quality-of-life and stability for years to come."
Central State President Dr. Cynthia Jackson-Hammond said, "Central State University has a long and interwoven history with the City of Xenia. After many focus groups with statewide stakeholders and alums from across the country, on the cusp of welcoming our largest freshman class in years, we realize that if Central State University is to expand its visibility, economic growth and sustainability, we must forge a formal relationship with our closest municipality."
Mark Hatcher, Chairman of the CSU Board of Trustees said, "The Central State Board of Trustees places a high value on the University's ability to drive strategic initiatives that increase operational efficiencies. Governor John Kasich has required Ohio's Universities to pursue efforts that lower overall costs in order to make college more affordable. CSU's financial benefits from this partnership are undeniable. Annexation is just one of the measures that will allow Central State University to remain the lowest tuition state university as the cost of college education rises."
With 350 employees, Central State will become a major new employer for the city. Central State currently sits on more than 600 acres in Xenia Twp. and in the past, has worked with the township on needed services. But as the campus grew, the University needed a higher level of affordable services to support that growth. By becoming a part of Xenia, the closest municipality, Central State will experience the same benefits that all other four-year public Universities in Ohio experience by being located in a city or municipality.
The city of Xenia currently provides water and fire/EMS service to the University, via a contract. As a resident business, Central State will not have to pay a premium in surcharges and will have access to additional city services such as mutual aid police protection, roadway maintenance, professional planning, economic development and public relations services.
Central State's annexation plans were presented to Xenia City Council on Aug. 10. The annexation process will be implemented in three distinct phases. Phase one will include geographically uniting the City and Central State via contiguously owned City and CSU property near Old Route 35 east and Wilberforce Switch Road. Phase two and three, expected to be implemented in 2018 and 2019, will involve the majority of the campus, and land owned by Central State University.
CSU employees will not experience any income tax impact in phase one. Based on University estimates, approximately half of all employees will experience incremental impact on their tax withholdings in mid-2018.
As an 1890 Land-Grant Institution, Central State is currently working with communities and investing in partnerships all across Ohio to help develop better social economic sustainable communities. Bringing that expertise to Xenia's underserved neighborhoods in a greater way would be a win for the partnership.
CSU's Extension Service is slated to have a branch office in the proposed 80,000 square-foot Greene County Recreation, Education, Activity, Community and Health (REACH) center, which is planned to address recreational, educational, workforce, health and wellness needs in the county. This is a collaborative effort between Xenia, the Kettering Foundation, Kettering Health Network, Central State University, Clark State Community College, the YMCA of Greater Dayton and the Xenia Adult Recreation and Services Center.
About Central State University:
Central State University, located in Wilberforce, Ohio, is a regionally accredited 1890 Land-Grant University with a 130-year tradition of preparing students from diverse backgrounds and experiences for leadership, research and service. The University, which was named HBCU of the Year by HBCU Digest, fosters academic excellence within a nurturing environment and provides a strong liberal arts foundation and STEM-Ag curriculum leading to professional careers and advanced studies globally.