10/21/14 ASHLAND, Ohio – A ceremony to dedicate the classroom building at Ashland University’s Black Fork Wetlands Environmental Studies Center located along U.S. 42 near the Ashland County-Richland County line will be held on Oct. 30.
The ceremony, which is set for 3:30 p.m., will include remarks from Dr. Patricia Saunders, associate professor of biology and director of the Environmental Science Program, as well as recognition of the many donors who made this facility possible.
Construction was started on the 1,200-square-foot classroom building in August. The “green” building features an open classroom, a storage area and restroom facilities, which are comprised of two self-contained composting toilets. The building also features several roof skylights to maximize the daylighting for the classroom.
In 2012, the Crawford-Richland Central Labor Council of the AFL-CIO committed to naming the facility with a major gift. In addition, the Sisler-McFawn Foundation of Akron, Ohio; the Richland County Foundation; and Grant Milliron joined together to complete fundraising for this second phase.
The first phase of development at the Black Fork Wetlands was made possible by the Clean Ohio Fund, with additional support from Richland County Foundation. This phase included a parking area, a short walking trail and 400-foot boardwalk with an observation deck and bird-watching tower constructed in 2007.
“The classroom building will be a unique educational facility that will further science education and the research of wetlands in the north central Ohio region,” according to Dr. Patricia Saunders, director of the environmental science program and associate professor of biology at Ashland University. The building is designed to accommodate wet students and equipment, as well as the occasional flood.
“The classroom will be available for educational outings and research by Ashland University students, other college students, high school, middle school and elementary school students and other community organizations,” Saunders said.
Ashland University, which has been ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###