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Published 6/1/2004

Owens and Charles Construction Hold 'Topping Off' Ceremony For New Findlay-area Campus, June 3

Owens Community College and Charles Construction Services Inc. will mark a milestone in the new Findlay-area Campus' initial construction by hosting a "Topping Off" Ceremony on Thursday, June 3. The "Topping Off" Ceremony will occur at 10 a.m. on the site of the new campus at the convergence of Township Road 212 and Bright Road.

Owens President Christa Adams, Ph.D., and the project's General Contractor, Charles Construction Services, will join community leaders, area residents and College employees in the celebration.

The "Topping Off" Ceremony for new building projects is an ancient construction tradition that marks the moment when the highest structural point in the building construction has been attained. To celebrate this event, a steel beam is signed by the workers and hoisted into place. A contemporary American version of this ceremony includes placing an evergreen tree on the beam to symbolize that the construction has proceeded well, without injury. The tree also symbolizes our respect for various natural resources contributing to the project. In addition, an American flag is attached to the beam to represent not only patriotism, but respect for the construction workers.

"Owens Community College is proud to observe this milestone by recognizing the construction workers and their efforts in making the new Findlay-area Campus a realization," said President Adams. "The construction process is progressing well and the College looks forward to opening the state-of-the-art facility's doors for students beginning in the summer of 2005."

"Topping Off" festivities will commence with the introduction of guest speakers by the master of ceremonies Puck Rowe, Senior Vice President of Business Development for Charles Construction Services. Guest speakers will include Owens President Christa Adams, City of Findlay Mayor Tony Iriti, and Charles' Project Manager Josh Huffman, and Project Superintendent Hardy Hartzel. The ceremony will conclude with the raising of the signed steel beam with a tree and unfurled flag for placement atop the educational center's clock tower. Refreshments will follow the "Topping Off" Ceremony.

In 2003, Owens Community College celebrated 20 years of providing higher education to Northwest Ohio residents by breaking ground for a new Findlay-area Campus. Owens has outgrown the existing Findlay-area Campus, which opened with 201 students in 1983 and currently serves more than 5,500 credit and non- credit students annually. By 2007, the Findlay-area Campus enrollment is projected to grow by another 37 percent to more than 7,500 students.

The 119,407 gross square foot instructional center will provide expanded choices in educational opportunities, highlighted by a library addition, 41 advanced technology classrooms, 28 technical and computer laboratories, as well as student services areas. Included in the new student service areas will be a Bursar's Office, Records Office, Financial Aid Office and Enrollment Services Office. The new 60-acre site is located at 3200 Bright Road on Findlay's northeast side.

Phase I of the Owens Findlay-area Campus initial project, which will cost approximately $18.9 million, is installation of the infrastructure, and construction of the 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.

To assist the College in continuing to provide a high quality education to Northwest Ohio students, the Owens Community College Foundation is engaging in a fundraising initiative to construct the library and 10 classrooms adjacent to the first phase of the future Findlay-area Campus.

Recognized as a regional leader in construction and serving as the project's General Contractor, Charles Construction Services (formerly known as Charles Associates Inc.) engages in a variety of project initiatives, including new industrial, institutional and commercial construction, as well as renovation, modification or expansion of existing facilities. The organization was responsible for the recent construction of the Birchaven Retirement Village and the Blanchard Valley Regional Cancer Center. Some of its other noteworthy projects include the Findlay Family YMCA, University of Findlay's Frost Science Center and Center for Equine Studies Riding Facility, Tiffin University Gillmore Student Center, Hancock County Historical Museum, and Findlay Medical Dental.

Charles Construction Services has been honored by Associated Builders and Contractors with consecutive Excellence in Construction awards and has been named to the "Metal Construction News" list of Top 100 Metal Builders in the United States.

For additional information regarding Owens' Findlay-area Campus "Topping Off" Ceremony, call 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7421 or (567) 661-7421.

Owens Community College is the fastest-growing higher educational institution in Northwest Ohio with 27 consecutive semesters of enrollment increases. On the Toledo-area and Findlay-area campuses, Owens serves more than 44,000 credit and non-credit students making it the number one choice for Northwest Ohio college students. Owens is committed to providing small classes, personal attention and unmatched affordability. Owens Community College offers over 130 program areas in Agriculture, Business, Fine and Performing Arts, 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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