MIDDLETOWN, OH (FOX19) - For more than two years, city of Middletown officials have been working on a project to bring a Cincinnati State campus to the city.
City leaders say revitalizing downtown Middletown has been a long and difficult process. But when Cincinnati State moves here this fall, it will be a big step in the right direction.
You don't have to look long or hard to see vacant building after vacant building in downtown Middletown.
"We've had many false starts and the reason why they didn't work don't matter," said Adriane Scherrer, owner of We Can Business Incubator, Inc. "What matters is all those reason are gone."
That's because community leaders say two of the city's largest vacant buildings will soon be occupied as Cincinnati State's first satellite campus.
"Cincinnati State is going to bring thousands of young adults and younger students who are interested in further their education down here," said Middletown councilmember A.J. Smith.
Smith is behind the Cincinnati State project. For the first phase of the project, the city has purchased two downtown buildings using tax dollars.
"Tax dollars were used to purchase these buildings, however it came from the downtown fund and the downtown fund and the economic development fund can only be used for specific purposes such as what we purchased these buildings with," said Smith.
Smith says this project has had no impact on the nine city firefighters recently laid off, and he hopes the community gets behind the project.
"To have the Cincinnati brand here in downtown Middletown is going to spur economic development unlike what we have seen at this point," said Smith.
"When you bring students that is a whole new group of things that we need to have downtown for them," said Scherrer. "They have to be able to buy a printer cartridge and an ink pen, eat a hot dog and get a beer after work."
Work is scheduled to begin to turn the now vacant buildings into the Cincinnati State campus within the next couple months.
The Middletown city council is expected to hear the first reading on legislation that will finalize the sale of the two vacant buildings to Cincinnati State for the campus on Tuesday night.