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Owens Community College Receives State Funding Approval and Purchases Land For New Findlay-area Campus
FINDLAY - Owens Community College took a major step in enhancing academic opportunities for its students by receiving legislative approval on $8.7 million in state funding and securing land for the future site of the new $25.7 million Owens Findlay-area Campus.
On Tuesday, the Ohio Senate appropriated $8,746,360 to the College following recent acceptance by the Ohio House of Representatives of House Bill 675, which allocates capital funding for the renovation, maintenance and construction of new facilities. Currently, the bill is pending final approval by Governor Bob Taft.
Owens also purchased 60 acres to begin construction for the new Owens Findlay-area Campus. Located 1.5 miles east of Interstate 75, the land is at the convergence of Township Road 212 and Bright Road, near Exit 161. The parcel was purchased at a price of $20,000 per acre from Dr. John J. Voorhees.
"Since becoming a comprehensive community college in 1994, Owens Findlay-area Campus has experienced an increase of over 50 percent in enrollment growth," said Christa Adams, Ph.D., President of Owens Community College. "The construction of the new Owens Findlay-area Campus is a commitment this College has made to our phenomenal growth in providing Owens students with access to quality higher education."
This past year, approximately 5,549 students attended classes at the Owens Findlay-area Campus, which is located at the corner of Cory and Davis streets in Findlay. Experiencing 23 terms of consecutive increases in enrollment, Owens is currently up 36 percent for the Spring Semester.
According to Chuck Mann, Owens Vice President of Business Affairs, the College purchased the Voorhees property because the parcel is within the city of Findlay, its close proximity to the I-75 expressway and the development of the Tall Timbers Center.
"The College now can move forward in the construction of the new state-of-the-art educational facility," Mann said. "Our goal is to have Phase I of the new Owens Findlay-area Campus ready for students by Fall Semester 2005."
Phase I of the Owens Findlay-area Campus initial 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 consist of advanced technology classrooms, technical laboratories and computer laboratories, as well as student services areas, which will include a Bursar’s Office, Records Office, Financial Aid Office and Enrollment Services Office. The exterior of the building will be Beldon brick and glass with the Owens Community College signature red metal roof.
Mann stated, construction on Phase I of the new Owens Findlay-area Campus will begin in the spring of 2003.
Phase II construction, which will cost approximately $8 million, will consist of a 75,000 square foot support services building addition and the Center for Development and Training. The building also will include additional classrooms and laboratories, as well as a support area dedicated for maintenance facilities.
Also as part of House Bill 675, the state legislature appropriated $1,145,610 toward the creation of the new Fire and Police Training Center for Professional Development and Homeland Security on Owens’ Toledo-area Campus.
The proposed Fire and Police Training Center for Professional Development and Homeland Security will include training facilities such as a pursuit track, skid pads, driving/handling road course, burn building, fire tower, car burn area, fuel spill area and control tower. The new facility also will include a Terrorism Simulation Center and a Maritime Training Center, as well as a rail spur and other Transportation-related emergency sites. The Center will be located on a vacant 69-acre parcel on the Toledo-area Campus bounded by Walbridge Road, Tracy Road and railroad tracks.
The Fire and Police Training Center for Professional Development and Homeland Security will provide service training to thousands of police, fire, medical and military personnel.
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 38,000 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 bachelor's degree with a smooth transfer to any area four-year college or university.