Thomas J. Evans Foundation Helps Central Ohio Technical College Secure New Building

Future Home of Institute for Public Safety

NEWARK, Ohio, September 16, 2020 — Central Ohio Technical College (COTC) has found a much-needed future home for its Institute for Public Safety. The Thomas J. Evans Foundation recently purchased the former JBA building at 1000 Sharon Valley Road, Newark, and arranged a charitable lease with the college. The 6500-square-foot building will be named Thomas J. Evans Hall to pay tribute to the longstanding and exceptional partnership between the college and the Evans Foundation.

With the ongoing renovation of COTC's Pataskala campus at 8660 E. Broad St., Reynoldsburg, which will greatly expand classroom and laboratory space at the facility, the college was searching for a new home for its Institute for Public Safety, which had previously been housed at the campus. Thomas J. Evans Hall, situated less than one mile from the college's Newark campus, will provide convenient access to expanded educational offerings for the Institute. COTC is in the beginning stages of planning long-term renovations to realize the building's future potential.

"Thomas J. Evans Hall will provide COTC the physical space to fulfill our vision of offering interactive training and simulation components for the next generation and continuing professional development of local first responders," said COTC President John M. Berry, PhD. "We offer profound appreciation to the Thomas J. Evans Foundation for its dedication to local higher education. The benefits of the new space are immeasurable."

Through its Institute for Public Safety, COTC offers a range of associate degree and certificate programs in criminal justice technology, emergency medical services technology, law enforcement technology, fire science technology and fire science technical rescue. During the past year, the college's Peace Officer Basic Training program was the second-highest scoring open enrollment academy on the Ohio state exam. The fire science technology program at COTC is the only degree program in central Ohio accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC).

"Central Ohio Technical College plays a critical role in providing affordable, local access to higher education for career training as well as transfer degrees," said Sarah Reese Wallace, chairperson of the Thomas J. Evans Foundation board. "We are very proud to assist COTC in its commitment to serving the needs of our communities."

The foundation also owns and charitably leases to the college the Hall-Coe house, a 1908 former farmhouse on Granville Street adjacent to the campus which has served as a residence for the college president. In 2012, the Evans Foundation established a substantial endowment that provides scholarship assistance to COTC and Ohio State Newark students residing in Licking County. The fund has provided more than $110,000 in scholarship awards to local students since its inception.

The Thomas J. Evans Foundation was established in 1965 by Thomas J. Evans and J. Gilbert Reese to enhance local educational, cultural and recreational programs and opportunities. The foundation frequently collaborates with local charitable organizations and is known for its development of the extensive bike path system throughout the county, the Canal Market District in downtown Newark and Everett Skate Park, which opened in 2019.

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.