Transpark could host a campus could host a campus

Josh Coffman

Western and the Inter-Modal Transportation Authority are discussing the possibility of placing a campus on the Transpark site in northern Warren County.

No timeframe has been set for the project.

President Gary Ransdell and ITA officials say the idea still has to overcome several obstacles before ground is broken on the campus.

Supporters of the campus say it would provide workforce training for the industrial park.

Bowling Green Mayor Sandy Jones, who is also chairwoman of the ITA, said that companies moving into the park will need start-up and ongoing job training.

An on-site campus will give the Transpark an advantage over competing business parks “just located in a field somewhere,” she said.

Ransdell said conversations about the project have been casual thus far, and many details – such as financing and the type of classes to be offered – have yet to be addressed.

The ITA has included the concept of an on-site educational facility in its plans since the beginning of the project, ITA President Jim Vance said.

He said the campus would help it succeed.

About 35 acres of land have been set aside by the ITA for an educational facility, Vance said. But more land could be added if needed.

Ransdell said that it will be difficult to determine what type of programs will be offered at an extended Transpark campus until it is known what type of businesses will locate there.

The ITA is recruiting “mainly high-skilled, high-wage” industries and expects the park to offer 3,000 jobs by 2015, Vance said.

Ransdell said he would like to see Western form a partnership with Bowling Green Technical College to build a campus on the Transpark site. Such an agreement may speed up the process, he said.

No funding has been set aside in Western’s budget for a possible campus, Ransdell said. Initial funding for the project would likely come from the state.

Ransdell is positive about the possibility of the project.

“I would hope in the years ahead that this is something we could work out,” he said.

Reach Josh Coffman at [email protected]