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alert ATTENTION: College closed Wednesday-Sunday for Thanksgiving.

"Columbus State celebrates 50 years of growth"

The front of today's Columbus Dispatch features some "good news" about Columbus State's 50th Anniversary.

When Columbus Area Technician School opened with 67 students in the basement of Central High School in 1963, no one had any idea what it would become because it was an experiment.

With 25,000 students today, the school, now known as Columbus State Community College, will celebrate its 50th birthday at the end of this month. It is the front door to a college education for more central Ohioans than any other local school, officials say.

Dispatch: Columbus State celebrates 50 years of growth

The Dispatch spoke to several successful alums, such as Congressman Pat Tiberi; Lewis Smoot Jr., senior vice president of Smoot Construction; and Carolyn Ireland, executive director for House of Hope for Alcoholics Inc.

Columbus Mayor Mike Coleman said Columbus State is "essential."

"And I think it will play an even greater role in the future because employers today are looking for people with specific skills for targeted jobs, and no one can do that as well as Columbus State," the mayor told the Dispatch.

Columbus State was in the news last week for its Master Plan, which calls for increasing collaboration with area colleges and partners, as well as a number of possible new buildings. (Access + Quality + Affordability = Master Plan)