OU Southern#039;s Proctorville Center taking shape

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 11, 2004

After starting out in a double-wide trailer at the Lawrence County Fairgrounds, the Ohio University Southern Proctorville Center has come a long way over the past 25 years.

It is about to come a little further, thanks to a community wide effort.

Preparations continue for the new Proctorville Center to be located along Ohio State Route 775.

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"It's the people of Proctorville who have come together," said Dr. Dan Evans, OUS dean. "They want this to happen."

Proctorville Center Director Stephanie Burcham said the new center is necessary because of the tremendous growth the Center has experienced.

Enrollment at Proctorville has grown 65 percent over the past two years, according to Burcham.

"We have the enrollment," she said. "We need the facility."

Burcham said the community has been involved in the project from the beginning, offering their ideas for the design, which will include rooms for meetings and social events. "The center is being financed by the community and will be utilized by the community," Burcham said.

The new center will also allow for expanded course offerings and a wider range of educational services.

Approximately $450,000 has been raised for the center, according to Bob Smith, assistant dean for development. The property, worth about $1.125 million, was donated by Marshall Smith. "Never before has there been such a fund-raising success in Proctorville," Smith said.

The center plans are complete and paid for, but an actual project completion timetable has not been established because of a delay in state capital appropriation, Evans said.

Passage of the biennial capital bill, which includes funding for the center, could be delayed until after the November elections, according to Evans. Once the announcement of appropriations is made, a timeline for completion can be announced, he said.

Though the delay in funding could delay construction, Evans said the center will happen. "We are absolutely committed to building a permanent facility in Proctorville."

Officials hope to have a sign dedication in the fall where they can share more details about the project.

Anyone interested in contributing to the project can contact Burcham at (740) 886-7655 or Smith at (740) 533-4595 or (800) 626-0513.