OU breaks ground on new tech center

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Joan Terry of Coal Grove graduated this spring with an associate’s degree in business management technology.

Tuesday, May 16, 2000

Joan Terry of Coal Grove graduated this spring with an associate’s degree in business management technology. Now, she’s seeking her bachelor’s in organizational communications – a degree she’s not sure she could get if not for Ohio University Southern Campus’ plans for a new technology center.

Email newsletter signup

"I’m so impressed with something of this caliber at this campus," Mrs. Terry said. "Since I’m a non-traditional student, it’s really nice for those of us who are working or have families to have this so close."

The student was one of many who watched Monday as OUSC leaders, state legislators and architects broke ground on the $6 million project.

The technology center will provide classroom, lab and office space for technology instruction.

Funding came last summer when the Ohio General Assembly approved the price tag in its biennial budget. OUSC was one of only two schools that received approval for full buildings.

The building will offer an auditorium, two art labs, an industrial electronics labs, a computer training lab, an allied health lab, four general classrooms and 15 faculty offices. Each room will offer modern technology access.

OUSC’s rapid growth has paved the way for the center’s need, campus dean Bill Dingus said.

"Today, 50 percent of jobs are associated with two-year technical programs and this building will be a solid cog in support of the associate’s degrees offered at southern campus," Dingus said.

Dingus expected construction to start today, with a completion date set for June or July 2001.

Ohio University president Robert Glidden called the project a link to the area’s future.

Today, everyone must recognize the need to bring Ohio’s workforce up to date with technology, Glidden said.

"If we are to get the jobs back, people are going to have to be trained in technology," he said. "This center will do that."

The center will become the headquarters for campus technical faculty and the two-year technical degree directors, said Don Baker, director of associate technology programs.

Plus, a planned "executive classroom" is exciting to faculty from a variety of disciplines, travel and tourism professor Steve Call said.

"I call it a learning lab," Call said. "For example, travel and tourism students will work there like it was a travel agency."

The classroom will look more like a modern office, where instructors can help students learn in a setting that will simulate the workplace they are trying to reach, he said.

Labs will provide much-needed computer space, said Ella Gannon, applied business programs director.

Computer lab space is so tight now that everyone schedules it far in advance, Mrs. Gannon said.

"If you want to add a class requiring computers for the fall, you probably can’t," she said. "This will help us tremendously."