Ohio allocates $6M to rebuild 'the core of our bioenergy and bioproducts research'

The state of Ohio's Office of Budget and Management has allocated $6 million in emergency funds to assist with the reconstruction of a building at OARDC that was severely damaged by the Sept. 16, 2010, tornado that struck the Wooster campus.

The announcement was made Aug. 29 by State Rep. Ron Amstutz during a meeting of Ohio State's Board of Trustees at OARDC. Amstutz, whose 3rd House District includes Wooster and who chairs the Ohio House of Representatives’ Finance and Appropriations Committee, has been a strong supporter of OARDC over his three decades of service in the Ohio legislature.

The State Controlling Board approved the $6 million appropriation at its Sept. 10 meeting. The funds will go toward reconstruction of the Agricultural Engineering Building, parts of which crumbled to the ground during the storm. Total cost of that project is estimated at $14 million, with insurance covering only part of the expenses.

"The loss of the Agricultural Engineering Building was especially crippling because it housed the core of our bioenergy and bioproducts research."—Steve Slack

"The impact of the tornado on the OARDC campus was devastating, and we have been extremely pleased and gratified with the support from all quarters to rebuild the campus," OARDC Director Steve Slack said. 

"The loss of the Agricultural Engineering Building was especially crippling because it housed the core of our bioenergy and bioproducts research. Ron Amstutz has been both an advocate and a leader in the restoration efforts, and the announcement of these funds means that a very significant funding gap has now been resolved and enables us to move forward to rebuild this critical facility."

-- Mauricio Espinoza, Communications and Technology