Michael D. Clark reports:
WEST CHESTER TWP. — The latest addition to the booming Interstate 75 medical corridor will be a bioscience educational campus here.
Officials at Butler Tech technical schools plan to build a $13 million campus on 25 acres atop a hill overlooking I-75 at the Cincinnati-Dayton Road interchange.
The campus will be the fifth in the county for Butler Tech and will initially serve up to 250 high school students and 150 adult students in a 30,000-square-foot building when it opens in August 2015. The campus could expand to as many as five more buildings as the career school partners with universities, hospitals and other health industry companies, officials said.
“This is the most ambitious construction project the district has undertaken since the original Butler Tech building opened in 1975,” said Bill Solazzo, spokesman for the career school system that now serves 14,400 high school students and 3,600 adult students.
Students will be trained for health industry jobs and related medical fields, and ideally the bio-science center would feed trained personnel to hospitals and medical companies. “Our location here for our bioscience facility puts us within a 20-mile radius of seven different hospitals and multiple different bioscience businesses,” Bill Miller, superintendent of Butler Tech, said.
When doors open on the bio-science school in 2015 it will be the latest in a series of health industry facilities lining the sides of I-75 from just north of the Interstate 275 interchange up to Middletown. Among the existing health providers are West Chester Medical Center, Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Liberty Township and the Atrium Medical Center in Middletown, all opened in the last six years.
Feeding the medical corridor is a decades-long growth trend raising residential numbers in Butler and Warren counties. West Chester Township has seen its population jump from 39,700 in 1990 to nearly 63,000 in 2012.
The offices of the West Chester and Liberty Chamber Alliance will also be moved to the campus site in 2015.
West Chester Administrator Judith Boyko said Butler Tech’s biosciences curriculum and technology “will redefine the future of workforce development in medical-related fields for our region and will support the growing targeted industry of life sciences in our community.” The campus will boost the economic development in a portion of the township that has “to date, been an economically underutilized area,” said Boyko.
Joe Hinson, president and CEO of the West Chester and Liberty Chamber Alliance, said the campus “has an excellent chance to become a game changer for our region and provide … a global address in the world of bioscience.”
The booming I-75 medical corridor
Butler Tech’s new bio-science campus along Interstate 75 in Butler County’s West Chester Township is the latest of series of major health service and medical centers north into Warren County.
About two miles north of the new Butler Tech campus on I-75 is the West Chester Medical Center and a quarter mile farther north stands Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Liberty Township, both adjacent to the highway.
In September Children’s officials announced a $162 million expansion of its Liberty Township facility, tripling the number of patient beds.
About five miles north in Middletown is the Atrium Medical Center also visible from I-75.
All three medical centers were opened in the last six years.