Westshore community members gather to welcome new Tri-C campus

Tri-C Westshore’s “future graduates” shoot confetti into the crowd as part of the grand opening celebration June 16.

Cuyahoga Community College held a grand opening ceremony June 16 for its Westshore campus on Clemens Road in Westlake. The well-attended event included presentations by those involved in the development of Tri-C’s fourth campus, as well as remarks from a current student and a procession of “future” Westshore graduates.

The campus’s health careers and sciences building, which opened its doors in January, now serves over 2,200 students. Tri-C Westshore will eventually be a full-service campus, with additional buildings planned to support science, technology, education and math course offerings.

Westlake Mayor Dennis Clough thanked the college’s planners and architect for their “strategic vision” in designing a facility that complements its location and is accessible to members of the surrounding communities. He remarked that not only will the campus serve full-time students, but may also be beneficial to local students who attend college out-of-town.

“It’s great for families with college students who return home in the summer to take a few classes...and save their parents a few dollars,” Clough said.

The Westshore campus is Tri-C’s second location in Westlake, along with its Corporate College West facility on Center Ridge which opened in 2003. It was the strong enrollment at that facility that led the school to begin planning the Westshore campus.

Tri-C’s president, Jerry Sue Thornton, praised the efforts of the entire Westshore community in helping to bring the new campus to Westlake.

“We could not be more pleased with the citizens of Westshore who have come together to help us,” Thornton said. “[The campus] is, by and for the citizens of Westshore.”

Jennifer Doolittle, a Fairview Park resident and single mother of four, represented the student voice at the ceremony. She is a full-time licensed practical nurse, studying to become a legal nurse consultant. Doolittle spoke highly of her experiences at the school and the flexibility it offers as she continues her education.

The presentations concluded with a procession of capped-and-gowned youngsters billed as the “future graduates” of Tri-C Westshore. After a small pyrotechnics display, the future students – and a group of current students lining the second-floor balcony – released a wave of confetti that exploded out into the atrium.

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Volume 3, Issue 13, Posted 12:42 PM, 06.18.2011