Scioto slated for $8.2 million in capital projects


State officials released the annual a proposed capital budget, aimed a funding projects local governments, state agencies and state colleges and universities request funding for. Based on figures released Tuesday, Scioto County is slated to receive $8.212 million for eight projects.

The funded projects include a proposed $1.4 million allocated to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for renovations and upgrading of Shawnee State Park.

The Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction is proposed to receive $1.785 million for general building renovations and an additional $27,401 for a Community Based Correctional Program, at Southern Ohio Correctional Facility.

Shawnee State University (SSU) has been proposed to receive funding for four projects.

Among the proposed projects include $1.8 million for rehabilitation of the Clark Memorial Library.

When SSU put in its request for funding the library rehabilitation it was valued at $8.7 million, with $7.2 million requested from the state, $500,000 in local funds and $1,000,000 in other funds.

Butch Kotcamp, Director of Facilities, Planning and Construction at SSU said the rehabilitation and repurposing of the Clark Memorial Library is needed.

“Libraries have become more of a place for students to interact and academic space,” Kotcamp said.

It’s anticipated, with the rehabilitation and repurposing will come enhanced engagement with student services and more space for, tutoring and mentoring.

“The library has become the central hub of not only learning resources, but services,” said Elizabeth Blevins, Director of Communications at SSU.

The Clark Memorial Library was built in 1991, SSU did not have housing.

“You could imagine the transitions that library has gone through. This is a very trendy thing to do (repurposing) and is needed in ours,” Kotcamp said. “This is an opportunity to really expand what’s going on in that building.”

Kotcamp said the library is one of the most used buildings on campus.

He said once the rehabilitation and repurposing is complete the community might be able to take advantage of the space.

Other SSU projects include a proposed $2.2 million for Phase two renovations on the Advanced Technology Center.

Phase two renovations and modernization of the Advanced Technology Center (ATC) is valued at $9.5 million. With $8 million requested from the state, $500,000 in local funds and $1 million is other funding.

“The ATC building followed the library; it’s coming to a life cycle. There are a lot of functional changes we would like to see. We would like to utilize that space better, to become more efficient in energy use,” Kotcamp said.

SSU is proposed to receive $800,000 for basic renovations of a requested $5 million. SSU was also proposed to receive $200, 000 for its Innovation Accelerator.

Earlier this year SSU announced plans for an investment in downtown Portsmouth. The investment included the announcement of an Innovation Accelerator.

The Innovation Accelerator is anticipated to include space and resources for students, faculty, and regional businesses to collaborate on projects, business ventures, and educational opportunities.

“Our goal with the Innovation Accelerator is to promote entrepreneurship and innovation,” Eric Braun, SSU Assistant to the President for External Affairs and Executive Director for Development, said in a released statement. “This is the exact type of campus-community partnership that we want to see in the downtown area.”

Regionally Lawrence County is proposed to receive $2.57 million in projects. Pike County is proposed to receive $28.106 million in projects. If signed into law the capital budget would have an investment of $38.876 million into the region.

The proposed capital budget will now be considered by the House of Representative and the Senate before signed into law by Governor John Kasich.

By Wayne Allen

[email protected]

Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT

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