After its official grand opening in August 2019, Columbus State’s School of Hospitality Management & Culinary Arts only enjoyed one semester of “normal” operations before COVID-19 affected the world. Fortunately, since the peak of the pandemic the school is gaining momentum and continuing to grow. To celebrate the reemergence the school hosted a “Progress Update” reception featuring Cameron Mitchell of Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, David Harrison of CSCC and the CSCC board members who commenced the event and graced the newly renovated space. Guests was instructed to observe the building and were greeted with a variety of culinary experiences throughout the space. The evening began with the official unveiling of the Keith & Donica Key Outdoor Amphitheater. Located at 250 Cleveland Avenue in Columbus, Ohio.
Keith B. Key, Chairman of the KBK Foundation, was a contributor to the new state of the art facility. Due to his generous gift, Mitchell Hall’s outdoor amphitheater has been appropriately named The Keith & Donica Key Amphitheater. Mr. Key’s wife, Donica Key, is an alumnus of the college.
“In the 80s I attended classes at Columbus State. I would work out in the gym during our lunch break because I did not have money to buy lunch. It’s so surreal seeing my name on a campus building now. I hope this is an inspiration to others,” said Donica Key.
This $34.5 million facility was supported by a $10 million private fundraising campaign and will double the school’s hospitality and culinary program’s capacity.
The new 80,000-square-foot building includes a 100-seat culinary theater, seven teaching kitchens, a mixology lab, a café and bakery, a 50-seat student-run restaurant with patio seating, a community garden, a 600-person conference center and much more. Inside, the building is open concept, with space for students to learn and do demonstration projects in the kitchen.
“The Key family is honored to support the development of Mitchell Hall, which promises to establish Columbus State Community College as Ohio’s Culinary Capital. The students and guests of the college will have access to the finest facilities and training in addition to the best professors in the industry. The impact of Mitchell Hall will be recognized locally, nationally, and worldwide!”, said Key.