© 2024 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Students At Africentric Early College Arrive At New Campus

Esther Honig
The new Africentric Early College Campus is one of the largest schools in the district.

For many students at Columbus City Schools, Wednesday was the first day back to class after the holiday break. For the students at the Columbus Africentric Early College, it was their first day in a completely new building. 

The school's director Todd Walker says completion of the new 55-acre campus has been long anticipated.

Walker describes the magnet school as a center for African and African-American cultural learning. Founded by Charles E. Tennant in 1996, the program that accepts up to 900 students long occupied the old Mohawk Middle School in German Village.

The new campus, located on the east side near John Glenn Columbus International Airport, is more than double the size of the program's previous home. At around 140,000 square feet, the new school is one of the largest in the district.

Walker says the layout of the new building allows for a 21st century learning experience. As opposed to a traditional layout, Walker says several classes are held in a larger communal learning space.

He says this allows for a more collaborative approach to learning and reflects the setup of the modern workplace.

"We want to make sure that our education and our learning processes reflect the way that students are going to be expected to work when they get into their jobs and their careers," Walker says.

Walker says the reaction from students when they stepped inside the new building was emotional. He thinks the space sends a positive message, letting students know that their community values them.

"Most of them have just been thankful," Walker says. "A couple young ladies told me that it's beautiful."

Walker says the new building will allow the school to add an additional two to 300 hundred students.

The facility cost around $39 million, with funding coming from a bond issue approved by voters.