The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, May. 25, 2024

NSCC officials mark start of demolition

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

The transformation of the former Kennedy Manufacturing building into a college campus is about to begin.

Officials from Archbold-based Northwest State Community College, along with local elected officials and other community leaders gathered at the Sycamore St. site in Van Wert Thursday morning for a ceremonial demolition, marking the start of the long awaited project.

Sledgehammers were swung during a ceremonial demolition Thursday morning. Scott Truxell/Van Wert independent

NSCC President Dr. Todd Hernandez told those in attendance that asbestos remediation will begin next week, with interior demolition to follow shortly after that. Most of the interior will be gutted in the coming weeks.

NSCC officials announced the acquisition of the 50,000 square foot property in early 2022. Board of Trustees Chairman Scott Mull acknowledged a lot of work is ahead but added NSCC is committed to the project to serve the needs of Van Wert and Paulding counties and the surrounding area.

“In the past we’ve dabbled in providing a local presence but now we are here to stay with the purchase and development of this space,” Mull stated. “We’ve spent over $1 million to date acquiring this space and we have estimated a cost of an additional $4.8 million in renovations to make this space worthy of the educational opportunities you all deserve. This space will support our mission of providing access and affordable education, training and services that will improve the lives of individuals.”

Mull and Hernandez both noted the college’s low costs compared to other educational institutions and they reminded those in attendance that NSCC was recently ranked No. 1 among all community colleges in Ohio.

Van Wert Mayor Ken Markward, Van Wert County Commissioner Thad Lichtensteiger and Tim Schneider, representing U.S. Senator J.D. Vance, also made brief remarks before the ceremonial demolition, which involved NSCC officials donning safety glasses and hard hats and swinging gold colored sledgehammers into a wall on the main floor of the building.

Scott Mull

NSCC is aiming to officially open its doors for classes in the fall 2024 semester and Dr. Jon Tomlinson, Dean of the Van Wert Campus, said the initial list of courses and classes is ready to go.

“Several business programs – accounting, marketing, entrepreneurship, business administration, those types of programs,” Tomlinson said. “We will also have two computer science areas, cyber security and computer science, and two industrial tech degrees, electrical engineering and industrial maintenance technology. Those are the associate degrees and we’ll also have short term certificates associated with all of those…those are anything that can be completed in a year or less.”

For more information on the Van Wert campus, visit

Northwest State Community College was established in 1968 as Four County Technical Institute, then was known as Northwest Technical College in 1972. It became a community college in 1994 and currently has over 4,000 students.

POSTED: 11/17/23 at 4:42 am. FILED UNDER: News