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OUS unveils park at Proctorville campus

Dedication, ribbon cutting at Saturday’s Bobcat Bash

PROCTORVILLE— A new park at the Ohio University Southern Proctorville Center was unveiled Saturday during the 25th annual Bobcat Bash.

Community leaders and members gathered for the event, which included several speakers, a ribbon cutting, lunch and more.

The park, which is located in front of the OUS Proctorville Center facility, creates a physical fitness and recreation area, which includes a half-mile asphalt, paved walking trail, two regulation-size soccer fields, a storm water retention pond, and a 40-space parking lot.

The approximately $425,000 project was made possible through state and university funding, as well as numerous donor contributions.

“The project wouldn’t have been possible without the funding secured by State Representative Ryan Smith and Senator Bob Peterson, in addition to generous donations from alumni and friends of the Southern campus. We are grateful for all of this support,” Nicole Pennington, Dean of Ohio University Southern, said. “The Proctorville Center provides great opportunities to the community and the university. The walking trail and soccer fields provide a peaceful and safe area to exercise for our students and faculty, and they also benefit our residents.”

Stephanie Burcham, director of the OUS Proctorville Center, also said she believes the park will be a positive for the university and community.

“Looking ahead, the park’s uses seem endless,” she said. “The university community is excited by the possible fitness-based courses that we can now offer in the future, and we hope that the park also serves as a focal point that further brings our community together.”

The walking trail in the park is named in honor of Clorinda and the late Ernie Hall, owners of Hall Funeral Home and Crematory, and staples of the Proctorville community.

“We believe that education and the opportunities that the Proctorville Center provide for our community are vital,” their son, Ernie Hall III, said on behalf of the family. “We are proud to have been a part of the park project, and we think that the park will benefit our area greatly.”

State Representative Ryan Smith, R-93, said he is very pleased with the park and what it brings.

“I think it’ll be a great gathering point for a lot of different events. It already is, but this accentuates the campus,” he said. “It’s a beautiful facility and a crown jewel for the eastern side of the county.”

Following the ceremony and ribbon cutting, the 25th annual Bobcat Bash volleyball tournament began.

There was also an inflatable for the children, music, and a raffle for various Ohio University Southern prizes.