A September 2010 tornado took it away. Now, support from elected officials and the state of Ohio will help bring back an even better version of the Department of Food, Agricultural and Biological Engineering's building on OARDC's Wooster campus.
A groundbreaking ceremony for the new building was held May 10. Attending were university officials, Ohio legislators who represent Wooster and Wayne County, staff from the offices of U.S. senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and U.S. Rep. Jim Renacci, and local city and county officials.
"I got tired of looking at the remains of that building every day for about two years," said OARDC Director Steve Slack. "I want to thank the department's leadership and support from the university to help get us to this day. I also want to recognize our partners with the city of Wooster and Wayne County, and I can't say enough about our congressional delegation in Ohio."
Slack also thanked the state of Ohio for its support to help to close a $6 million gap in funding for the new building, thanks to the allocation of emergency funds to the project. The total cost of the building is $14 million, with $3.6 million coming from insurance and the rest from state funds.
"This is a remarkable opportunity for a new start. The research capacity we have here at OARDC is unparalleled, and this is a very important investment for both Ohio State and the agricultural community."—CFAES Dean Bruce McPheron
"This is a great day," said State Rep. Ron Amstutz, whose 3rd House District includes Wooster and who was instrumental in securing the emergency funds. "I'm delighted to have been a small part of this effort to put together this great asset for our state and the country."
The new structure will be the first "green" building on OARDC's Wooster campus. It is planned to be certified "Silver" by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program.
Video (1:07): Time-lapse images showing the deconstruction of the tornado-damaged Agricultural Engineering Building on OARDC's Wooster campus.
-- Mauricio Espinoza, CommTech