The Pataskala branch of the Central Ohio Technical College received the go-ahead from the state controlling board last week to purchase the Broad Street Grand Host East facility to expand the school's campus.

The Pataskala branch of the Central Ohio Technical College received the go-ahead from the state controlling board last week to purchase the Broad Street Grand Host East facility to expand the school's campus.

The former banquet hall, at 8660 Broad St., comprises 16,200 square feet and sits on more than 4.5 acres. It has parking space for more than 240 vehicles.

The controlling board voted to allow COTC to purchase the building for $1-million -- about $185,000 less than the lowest appraisal.

State Rep. Jay Hottinger (R-Newark), a member of the controlling board that voted in favor of the purchase Dec. 14, said COTC's Pataskala campus has been growing over the past few years and it is in need of space.

Hottinger said enrollment has increased by nearly 50 percent since 2006.

"Licking County is very much a hot bed of growth," Hottinger said. "They use office space where they can find suitable areas. They currently use part of the city building."

He said COTC plans to use the building for a long time.

"This is part of a longer-term view," he said. "This gives them just a little more permanent solution in a larger facility that will help to meet both current and future potential for additional classrooms."

According to Bonnie Coe, COTC president, the Grand Host East facility will help add to the campus.

"Since we began offering classes in Pataskala in 2006, the college has been searching for one facility that could accommodate classrooms, labs, offices -- an intermediate home for the COTC Pataskala campus," Coe said in a press release Dec. 18. "The Grand Host East will provide that until such time as we are able to secure land for new development."

She said the college already has a purchase agreement in place with the seller and plans to close on the property in the near future.

gmartineau

@thisweeknews.com