"We can do it. And we’ll surprise the whole damn town." Dr. Charles Chapman
The College’s first permanent home, the Metropolitan Campus, was dedicated in 1970 after year of planning and construction. It was built on the 40-acre St. Vincent urban renewal area on the edge of downtown Cleveland. The former working class neighborhood, known as Big Italy, had welcomed hundreds of thousands of Italian, Irish and Jewish immigrants to Cleveland.
Originally defined by its steel mills, breweries, and produce purveyors, the area, by the 1960’s, reflected the city’s hard times with businesses shuttered and working class residents leaving.
The Board of Regents advanced $800,000 for the purchase of the Metropolitan Campus land. Soon after, and at no cost, the College was given the abandoned Crile Veterans Hospital in Parma for the Western Campus. After remodeling, it opened in 1966. The Eastern Campus became the College’s third site in 1971, beginning classes in a prefabricated building on the site of a former county hospital in Warrensville Township. Dr. Chapman, favoring a permanent site for the multi-campus college, worked to get the District administration building at 700 Carnegie Avenue built and it opened in 1973.
The College’s success revealed the passion of the people and institutions who worked together to deliver to Cleveland something that was so often in short supply: Hope.