Owens Community College students aspiring to be musicians, artists, dancers, performers or photographers will have the opportunity to pursue their educational dreams at the future Owens Center for Fine and Performing Arts.
The Owens Board of Trustees and President Christa Adams, Ph.D. hosted community leaders, members of the arts community and College employees for a groundbreaking ceremony Friday, February 22 to celebrate the beginning of work on the $10 million new building. State Senator Randy Gardner and State Representative Robert Latta were keynote speakers for the event.
"The new Center for Fine and Performing Arts is dedicated to liberal arts instruction, an area that has seen tremendous growth at Owens since the College became a comprehensive community college in 1994," President Adams said. "We are excited about this wonderful addition to campus, allowing the College to expand instruction in music, art, theater, dance and photography, as well as the ability to host additional cultural events for the community."
During the ceremony, Owens Board of Trustees Vice Chair Jack Sculfort accepted an engraved shovel from Bill Rudolph, President of Rudolph Libbe Companies, to mark the special occasion.
Rudolph Libbe Inc. of Walbridge is the General Contractor for the new Center for Fine and Performing Arts and was the General Contractor for the Owens Student Health and Activities Center completed in August 2000. Rudolph Libbe Companies is the largest privately held construction firm in Ohio.
Designed by The Collaborative Inc. of Toledo, the architectural features of the new building will be sculptural in shape, with geometrical curves and cylindrical elements. The main entrance will open into a glassed, two-story, circular gallery/lobby where visitors can view art exhibits. Accessible from the lobby will be a 520-seat theater.
The 74,396-square-foot facility also will feature a 50-seat music/lecture hall, 13 classrooms, 37 offices, art and design studios for graphic art, commercial art, painting, ceramics and sculpture, as well as studios for the instruction of dance, vocal and instrumental music and practice rooms.
The Center for Fine and Performing Arts is the final structure of the Galleria Complex, which began in 1996 and includes the Library, Audio/Visual Classroom Center, Math/Science Center and the Student Health & Activities Center.
The other contractors for the Center for Fine and Performing Arts are Bayes Inc. of Perrysburg (Mechanical Contractor), Dimech Services Inc. of Toledo (Plumbing & Fire Protection Contractor) and Lake Erie Electric of Bowling Green (Electrical Contractor). Consultants for the project are Mechanical Design Associates of Maumee. Construction for the Center is scheduled to be completed for Fall Semester 2003.
Progress on the building, as it is under construction, can be viewed on the Owens website at www.owens.edu. The College has mounted a webcam showing the real-time construction of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts.
Recently cited as the fastest-growing community college of its size in the United States by Community College Week, a national newspaper serving community, technical and junior colleges, Owens has grown 89 percent since July 1994 with 21 consecutive semesters of headcount increases.
On the Toledo-area and Findlay campuses, Owens serves more than 36,000 credit and non-credit students. Owens is committed to offering small classes, personal attention and the lowest tuition in Northwest Ohio. Owens offers over 100 career-oriented programs and majors in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.
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