The Ohio State University at Newark and Central Ohio Technical College have broken ground on a $32 million science and technology center.
The Newark Advocate reports that the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology will be a three-story, 60,000-square-foot facility, the 11th building on the campus shared by the two institutions.
"This is a huge selling point to businesses looking to relocate here," says Jennifer McDonald, president of the Licking County Chamber of Commerce. "Local manufacturers say they can't find talent. This is truly a game-changer for our community and our businesses. Expanding the campus is only going to make our community much stronger."
Bill McDonald, dean/director of OSU-Newark, says the new facility, expected to open in spring 2021, will enable students to pursue a bachelor's degree in science and engineering technology.
"We're about to break ground on a building we've needed for some time," McDonald says. "This bigger facility will not only meet our present needs, but our campus needs long into the future. Without this building, we couldn't do it, because we're out of space."
John Berry, president of the technical college, says the facility will strengthen the school's offerings.
"It will allow us to enhance every one of our healthcare programs," Berry says. "Each one will be a part of that. It will increase capacity for each program and increase the hands-on experience."
The first floor of the Alford Center will have a main lobby, conference room, student study space, two smart labs, a physics instructional lab, a nuclear magnetic resonance lab, a virtual anatomy classroom and lab, a health science simulation center, an emergency room simulation lab, an operating room simulation lab, an ambulance simulation lab and other rooms.
The second floor of the building will have two general classrooms, an anthropology instructional lab, a geology/earth sciences instructional lab, two cadaver/anatomy instructional labs, two biology instructional labs, eight faculty offices, a faculty workroom, a large student lounge and a conference room.
The third floor will house two general chemistry labs, an organic chemistry lab, eight faculty offices, faculty workroom, large student lounge, small study room and seven research labs for physics, paleontology, geology/earth sciences, biology and chemistry.
OSU-Newark has a student enrollment of 2,882, and Central Ohio Technical College has 3,880.
Video: Plans for the John and Mary Alford Center for Science and Technology.