Community Planning Assistance Teams
Hiram College and Village Master Plan —
Hiram Village, Ohio
Established in 1894, Hiram Village is a small rural community in northeastern Ohio's Portage County. It is located roughly 40 miles from Akron and 40 miles from Cleveland.
Over the past decade, Hiram Village has seen changes. Its population, according to 2000 and 2010 census data, has increased from 1,242 to 1,406 — a sizable 13.2 percent increase for a community that fits within a single square mile. Additionally, this trend shows no sign of slowing down.
Inextricably linked to Hiram Village is Hiram College. Founded in 1850, the college occupies roughly a fourth of the village's one square mile. It has also seen significant changes in recent years. Since 2004, Hiram's enrollment has increased from 750 to 1,100 students — an increase of almost 50 percent that also shows no sign of slowing.
Hiram College and Hiram Village have a close working relationship. College administrators and faculty members often serve in the Hiram Village municipal government. The village and the college are inextricably linked to each other's success. Acknowledging this, leaders promote a culture of cooperation and collaboration. Hiram Village and Hiram College acknowledge the inevitable growth they both face.
Building off the work of the Community Planning Assistance Team (CPAT), the village and college will create a joint master plan that guides strategic growth and land usage for the next 20 to 50 years.
February 27-28, 2013
Hiram CPAT Team Leader, Bruce Knight, FAICP, and APA project manager, Thomas Bassett conducted a preliminary visit to Hiram, Ohio. Located in the triangle between Cleveland, Akron, and Youngstown, Hiram sits in the rural northern part of Portage County. They toured the township, village and college to understand the physical interplay between the two levels of government and educational institution. Meeting with key stakeholders, such as regional planners, the college president, village mayor and council, and township trustees, they were narrowing the focus of the CPAT to pinpoint the needed expertise to fill out the rest of the team for the full team visit. The full team's return is still not chosen as they found out the college is coming out with a masterplan in May 2013. Since the team will want to engage with the students, school should be in session when they return. Because of summer, the team is looking to return to Hiram in September in order to have the masterplan released to inform the CPAT as well as have a chance to hear from students.
Photo by Bruce Knight, FAICP.