The Reynoldsburg Board of Education unanimously agreed last week to allow $1.2 million to be used for the design and construction of improvements needed at the school district's Livingston campus high school so Columbus State Community College can operate a regional learning center there.

The Reynoldsburg Board of Education unanimously agreed last week to allow $1.2 million to be used for the design and construction of improvements needed at the school district's Livingston campus high school so Columbus State Community College can operate a regional learning center there.

The approval is connected to a partnership between the two schools to accelerate college readiness, student success and credential attainment for all high school students.

Superintendent Steve Dackin said the two sides are working through the details of a dual enrollment agreement that would make CSCC courses available to students beginning with the 2012-2013 school year.

Dackin said the regional learning center will be available for everyone in and around neighboring communities to enroll in and take courses.

He said although courses will be available to all high school students, the deal is especially focused on students enrolled in the Reynoldsburg district's Business, Education, Leadership and Law Academy.

Dackin said students will be able to complete as much as a two-year degree with all courses being transferable to a four-year institution.

"As they enroll as freshmen, they will have the opportunity, if they work hard and do what they need to do, to potentially graduate with both a high school diploma and an associate of arts degree or science degree," he said.

Reynoldsburg business manager Ron Strussion said the district is providing CSCC a 22,000-square-foot space at the Livingston campus high school. The $1.2 million, which comes out of available bond money, will be used to renovate 15 classrooms on the west side of the building, he said.

In return, CSCC has agreed to invest up to $1.4 million to equip the space and provide instruction and other support services.

Strussion said the next step is to begin design and engineering of the space at the school, followed by renovations. The facility is expected to be up and running by January 2013.

Dackin praised the partnership between the two schools, especially Columbus Community College's president, David Harrison.

"David has brought a vision of what college attainment can be, along with the realization of mutual goals of college affordability and accessibility for all students - at the same time, raising the level of access so that our students do, in fact, graduate and are college- and career-ready," Dackin said.

Jack Cooley, CSCC senior vice president for academic affairs, said the college has a number of regional learning centers. The one planned for Reynoldsburg will be the only one that is co-located with a school district.

Cooley said college officials are optimistic about not only the partnership, but also developing a relationship with the Reynoldsburg community.

"I think all of us here have been enormously impressed with the spirit of innovation and really solid thinking that has characterized the Reynoldsburg school system," Cooley said. "Consequently, we really felt honored to have them seek us out as a partner in going forward with both the remediation project with dual enrollment and with us as a regional learning center. So we think, in many ways, this will be maybe not a literal model that other systems will accept but one that they will give serious thought to and to implement in their own way."