AKRON  Community members, along with state, city of Akron and Stark State College officials gathered Monday for a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Stark State College Akron facility.

Plans were announced earlier this year for the new 30,000-square-foot school, which will be located on 11 acres of city-owned land at the intersection of Perkins and Market streets.

City of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan said there were a lot of partners involved to make this project possible, which will teach students the necessary skills to fill some of the thousands of jobs across the state.

"There was a gap in workforce development as there are some 200,000 jobs open across the state of Ohio and we need to be able to get people those jobs," Horrigan said. "Stark State will be able to do this."

Horrigan added that it was an honor to be a part of the project and called it a great collaboration.

One out of four Stark State students come from Summit County and President Dr. Para Jones said the school’s goal was to make college convenient as possible for them.

"For years, our students have been asking us to please open a campus in Akron to better serve their needs," Jones said.  "What we really want to deliver is quality affordable education that leads to rewarding employment here in the region."

The new facility will offer programs in accounting, an associate of arts, business management, criminal justice, early childhood education and information technology. The new location will also offer certificates in chemical dependency and accounting and information technology. All programs offered at Stark State College can be started at the Akron location.

The new location offers easy to access from the highway being just off Route 8. Stark State and the city of Akron entered a 20-year lease-purchase agreement for $949,380. The school will pay the city $47,469 annually during that 20-year period before taking ownership of the property.

Construction of the new location is expected to take two years, but classes will temporarily be offered at the former Brown Mackie College location, 755 White Pond Drive, starting in January.