The Daily Express

Owens Community College Submits Land Purchase Request for New Findlay Campus


Continuing to meet the needs of the Northwest Ohio community, Owens Community College is investing more than $35.7 million in the region through the on-going construction of the College's new $10 million Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the Toledo-area Campus and acquiring land for the future site of the new $25.7 million Owens Findlay Campus.

Earlier today, the College took a large step in its educational investment as the Ohio Board of Regents and state Controlling Board approved Owens' Real Estate Acquisition Request to purchase a proposed 60-acre site. Located 1.5 miles east of Interstate 75, the land is at the convergence of Township Road 212 and Bright Road, near Exit 161. Currently owned by Dr. John J. Voorhees, the parcel will be purchased at a price of $20,000 per acre.

The recommendation for purchase of the land could be brought before the College's Board of Trustees as soon as their September meeting with Phase I of the new Findlay Campus ready for students by Fall Semester 2005.

"The Owens Community College Findlay Campus has seen tremendous growth of 50 percent over the past seven years," said Christa Adams, Ph.D., President of Owens Community College. "Our phenomenal growth is a testimony that residents of Hancock County are committed to investing in the future of this region."

President Adams added, "The construction of the new Owens Findlay Campus, as well as the completion of the Center for Fine and Performing Arts on the Toledo-area Campus, will enhance our mission, offering even more educational opportunities to the surrounding communities."

During the 2001-2002 academic year, 5,241 students were enrolled at the Findlay Campus, which is located at the corner of Cory and Davis streets in Findlay. The College has experienced 23 terms of consecutive increases in enrollment. Currently, the Findlay Campus is up 18 percent over last fall term.

"In order to continue to offer a high quality, affordable education, the College has made a commitment to Northwest Ohio, with the acquisition of land for the new Owens Findlay Campus, which will ensure servicing the needs of the College's students and provide an additional educational resource for the community," said Chuck Mann, Owens Vice President of Business Affairs.

According to Mann, the Voorhees property was selected by the College because of its close proximity to the I-75 expressway and the developing Bright Road area. "Owens Community College will be able to take advantage of three major roadways surrounding the land. Such roadways will have a significant impact, resulting in a direct reduction in the amount of funds expended for college roads at the new Findlay Campus."

Mann added, "The Voorhees site also is within the city of Findlay limits, which allows for the availability of city police, fire and emergency service."

Funding for the new $25.7 million Owens Findlay Campus will include $2 million in capital appropriation, which was previously approved by the state of Ohio in 2001. In January 2002, Owens also received a preliminary recommendation from the Ohio Board of Regents for a capital appropriation of $8,746,360 to construct the new Findlay Campus.

The College is currently awaiting final approval of the new house bill. The additional funds will be incurred with the sale of the existing facility.

Once the purchase of the land is approved by the Board of Trustees, the initial Phase I of the Owens Findlay Campus project, which will cost approximately $17.5 million, will be to install the infrastructure and to construct a 100,000 square foot Education Center and a stand-alone $250,600 grant funded Child Care Center of 2,400 square feet. The infrastructure will include utilities, parking lots and roadways.

The interior of the Education Center will be primarily instructional, consisting of advanced technology classrooms, technical laboratories and computer laboratories, as well as temporary locations for administrative and faculty offices, student services and food court/student lounge. The exterior of the building will be Beldon brick and glass plate with the Owens Community College signature red metal roof.

Phase II construction, which will cost approximately $8 million, will consist of a 75,000 square foot Student Services building addition, which will allow for permanent support facilities for student services areas of a Bursar's Office, Records Office, Financial Aid Office, Admissions/Advising Office, administration and faculty offices, a bookstore, library, food court/student lounge, Center for Development and Training and maintenance facilities. Support areas vacated from the Phase I building will be converted to instructional use.

During the August 20th Board of Trustees meeting, the recommendation was made that the joint partners of Rooney, Clinger, Murray Architects of Findlay and The Collaborative Inc. of Toledo serve as the architectural firms for the new Findlay Campus.

On the College's Toledo-area Campus, the 74,396 square-foot new Center for Fine and Performing Arts will feature a 522 seat theater, 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 will open its doors for students beginning Fall Semester 2003.

According to Gary Dettling, Owens Vice President of College Advancement, the College not only is making an educational investment by constructing state-of-the-art facilities, Owens also is exploring innovative ways to enhance its high quality education through technology.

"Owens Community College is committed to providing the latest in distance learning courses and is currently exploring other technological initiatives, which include offering an entire associate degree on-line in the near future," he said.

Click here to view a map of the proposed Findlay site.   (Requires Adobe® Acrobat ReaderTM)

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing community college of its size in the nation. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 37,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for new college students in Northwest Ohio. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 140 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Health, Public Service, Skilled Trades, Industrial and Engineering Technologies. Owens students also can earn the first two years of a bachelors degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.

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