Board debates new entrance at Terra

FREMONT – Poggemeyer Design Group Inc. presented an update on the SR 53 entrance to the Terra State Community College Board of Trustees Wednesday during its regular board meeting.

The project is in the preliminary stage. The board is waiting to hear from the Ohio Department of Transportation on the traffic impact study submitted in May. The survey was done to look at the preferred location of the new entrance, any needed construction and the redistribution of traffic.

The next phase is for Terra to enter into a memorandum of understanding with Sandusky County Transportation Improvement District, said Gregory Telecky, managing principal for Poggemeyer.

Of the 12 options reviewed, the one with the lowest project cost of $3.5 million is to include a roundabout on SR 53, said Terra President Jerome Webster.

“The option chosen would eliminate access to SR 53 for the eastern leg of Muskellunge Creek Road, and addresses the need for a new bridge over Muskellunge Creek to provide all-weather ingress and egress.”

The new entrance is part of a master plan to increase growth at the college, Webster said.

“The master plan identified three broad transportation needs to promote future growth, address safety needs, increase capacity and facilitate economic growth in the campus area,” Webster said.

Board Chairperson Carl Koebel said while the new entrance is to improve ingress, egress and safety, and give the college more opportunities to develop, until the benefits can be seen it is hard to see the need of another entrance.

“There is the possibility of benefits, but I don’t see the purpose of the entrance without (additional) development,” board Vice Chairperson Don Nalley said.

Sandra Berlekamp, sergeant at arms of the board, said, “Terra needs a presence on SR 53. It is like the saying, ‘If you build it, they will come.'”

Board Treasurer Randall McCullough said the board is to look into more funding options and to possibly request funds through ODOT.

“All of us at Terra State are excited to make progress on this project, and look forward to expanding opportunity for our students,” Webster said.

The board is to meet at 1 p.m. Sept. 25 in the board room, B206.