Sinclair Community College’s purchase of Far Hills Church in Centerville may be finalized by the end of March.
The state controlling board has approved Sinclair’s request to spend more than $9.6 million on the church and the nearly 40 acres of land it sits on. Sinclair plans to transform the church into a learning center once the deal is completed sometime in the next 11 weeks, said Sinclair spokesman Adam Murka.
“So we’re not done, but this was an important requirement to satisfy,” Murka said.
State Sen. Bill Beagle, R-Tipp City, announced the approval from the state today. Murka said Beagle was instrumental in helping Sinclair get approval for the project from the state controlling board.
“Serving more than 300,000 students across the state, it is important to continue to invest in community colleges that play a key role in Ohio’s workforce development,” Beagle said in a prepared statement. “Sinclair has a proven record of providing quality education while maintaining one of the lowest tuition rates in Ohio.”
The church, located at 5800 Clyo Road, is a 100,000-square-foot facility that already has around 20 classrooms already, Sinclair officials have said.
The building, less than a mile from I-675 and near Wilmington Pike, also includes a childcare facility, a coffee shop and cafe area, a kitchen, two gymnasiums and an auditorium that seats 1,500 people, according to documents provided by Sinclair.
The new learning center would likely offer most general education classes but could also offer space for the school’s veterinary technician program.
With 30 acres besides the building, Sinclair’s vet program could bring in animals that it doesn’t have the space for at its downtown campus, president Steve Johnson said in July when the community college first announced it was considering buying the church.
Sinclair has been considering a new learning center in the I-675 corridor for years, Johnson said. The church building is around 15-years-old, a real estate agent told this news organization last year.