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OUS Proctorville Center to benefit university as well as community

PROCTORVILLE - The future Ohio University Proctorville Center will not just benefit students from the Eastern end of Lawrence County - school officials say it will benefit the community as well.

A meeting

Tuesday evening at Fairland High School provided an update on the progress of the plans to build the new center and to explain some of the changes that have been made.

"We feel pretty good about the progress we've made," Ohio University Southern Dean Dr. Dan Evans said. "We see Proctorville as being a vital part of the future."

The new Proctorville Center will have 11 classrooms with the possibility of two additional rooms. The current center has three classrooms with a makeshift lab. The new facility will have a new art/science lab which will contain a prep lab for chemistry/biology. This will allow the center to offer classes it was previously unable to offer.

A large computer lab, a resource room and a distance learning classroom have also been included. The commons room will be 2,000 square feet that will be community space - a place for students to study and relax and a place for the community to utilize. Also included is a seminar room, which has a bay window and access to the patio area.

"It will be good for Ohio University and our purposes, but good for the community as well," said Stephanie Burcham, director of the Proctorville Center.

Burcham also introduced Belinda Coleman who has accepted the position as Assistant Director of the Proctorville Center. Burcham said the fact that they are expanding their manpower is more evidence of OUS' commitment to the community.

"I'm excited about the fact that we are getting there," Coleman said. "There is so much opportunity."

Another special feature of the Proctorville Center will be the small business incubator. It is designed to offer a start up opportunity for small business. This will provide space to businesses that move into the Proctorville area - to become established and move into the community.

There will also be an office aimed at serving business and industry needs. An additional training wing or annex will be built on to the Chamber of Commerce building in South Point.

Evans said they are working with the Chamber to provide space for training and small business development.

Architect David Reiser explained that the building has grown from 14,000 to 17,000 square feet and will have 160 parking spaces on site with the opportunity for further growth. There will be a pre-bid meeting June 18.

Reiser said September 5 will be the latest date for the project to commence construction, and the project should take a little less than a year.

"I think it's going to be a very exciting building," he said.

The total cost of the building is $3.2 million. The land for the building, 19 plus acres worth $1.125 million, was donated by Marshall Smith. More than $600,000 in cash and pledges have been donated by the community. An additional $275,000 is needed to include the two additional classrooms.