Odessa College celebrates opening of downtown project

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Published: Jul. 27, 2023 at 5:44 PM CDT
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ODESSA, Texas (KOSA) -Odessa college’s new downtown area combines entertainment with education.

This new project can offer things to the community like art classes, yoga classes, live music and more. The total cost of phase 1 was 3.2 million dollars.

Now people that live in Odessa can enjoy the splash pad, there’s two stages to play music and once it’s open to the public, food trucks will be spaces for them to sell their food.

This project broke ground in June of last year. It was a collaboration between Odessa college, the city of Odessa and Eofficial Enterprises.

This area is also designed to host community events downtown Odessa, Odessa arts and more organizations.

“We created a vision, and this is where we are. It’s very exciting to be here. Now it’s what we are going to do with this wonderful space. How are we going to enjoy it. How do we make it as accessible as possible to people. So that we can improve the quality of life in our community.” said Gregory Williams, President of Odessa College.

This was part of the vision that Williams had for Odessa College and the community.

Come to life with help from a family of entrepreneurs from Odessa, Toby and Sondra Eoff.

“Well just go back five years ago and there was very little business or commerce downtown at all. Now you got hundreds of people in downtown Odessa. So obviously it’s a successful revitalization and there is more to come.” said Toby Eoff, owner of the Odessa Marriott Hotel.

Indeed, more will come as Eoff said. Phase 2 will consist of a 13 million dollar, three-floor academic building next to this project.

“That facility will be a business space where we teach people how to open businesses, run businesses.” said Williams.

This land was donated to Odessa college by the city of Odessa and it means a lot to the staff, and especially to those life-long Odessans.

“I think this is so important to the citizens of Odessa. I am a fourth generation Odessan. My dad and my grandmother grew up coming down to downtown Odessa to shop and go out to eat and spend time with their family. So, this is very important for the history of our community.” said Jacqui Gore, vice president of Advancement, Business, and Governmental Relationships at Odessa College.

For the month of August, this area will be open from 10am to 4pm Tuesday through Saturday. These hours are temporary until Odessa College makes an official schedule for this site.