Railroad Track Extension at Old Republic Site Could Make Massillon a Utica Rail Hub – Republic Short Line started a railroad operation on Feb. 1 at the former Republic Steel property. The new business is prepping for rail delivery and storage of 600 miles of pipe to be used for natural gas development in Ohio, Michigan and Canada, according to owner Steve DiPietro. “We’re putting Massillon dead center in Utica Shale play,” said DiPietro. “We could become the biggest pipe yard in the country.” The company sits on more than 460 acres, which is home to Tiger Sand and Gravel and other companies planning relocation or expansion. DiPietro and his brother and partner, Dave DiPietro, have spent about $4 million since August to refurbish an existing 3.5 miles of railroad track and have built three separate new railroad tracks—each a mile long—to connect with track run by Norfolk Southern Railroad to the north and R.J. Corman Railroad Group to the south. Norfolk and R.J. Corman have daily rail traffic through the city. The company has also cleared about 1,400 tons of dirt from the property and leveled dozens of acres in preparation for natural gas pipe storage and other types of potential business. The site has been zoned heavy industrial for decades; therefore, no special city work permits were necessary to get started with the project. “We want to be a viable rail option for any company wanting to do business,” DiPietro said. The city was helpful in getting matching grant money via the state to assist the site cleanup and has been a solid reference for potential customers, DiPietro said. DiPietro’s company bought the site in 2004 from bankrupt Republic Technologies International, targeting it for industrial and commercial development. To read more about the site opportunities, click on this Canton Repository article.

Timken World Headquarters Receives Prestigious LEED® Gold Certification for Green-Building Excellence – The Timken Company on December 10 announced that its World Headquarters building has earned LEED® Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) sets the international standard for green-building excellence, and this certification recognizes The Timken Company’s adherence to solid green design and practices. Built in 1966, the building located near the Akron-Canton Airport recently underwent a $65 million, 240,000-square-foot renovation and expansion to serve as the company’s new world headquarters. The building brings together more than 1,000 associates who engage in research and development, engineering, customer service, supply chain, sales and marketing. The building also houses corporate functions as well. Construction began in May 2012 and wrapped up in July 2014. Situated on 115 acres at 4500 Mount Pleasant St. N.W., Jackson Township, the World Headquarters features abundant natural lighting along with outdoor gardens and walking path; a state-of-the-art cafeteria overseen by chefs committed to health-conscious offerings; preferred parking spots for energy-efficient vehicles and car poolers; and a comprehensive recycling program. The Timken World Headquarters is the first LEED Gold certified newly constructed office building in Stark County, Ohio. Click here for more information on the World Headquarters; for photos, visit www.timken.com/news.

New Walsh Science Center Named in Honor of Saint John Paul II – Walsh University officially unveiled its newest building, the Saint John Paul II Center for Science Innovation, with the start of the January 2015 semester. The new building will serve as the home for Walsh’s expanded science and health care programs in a beautifully designed facility. Annexed to Walsh’s Timken Natural Sciences Center, the two-story building was designed for students to easily navigate between the existing facility and the new state-of-the-art laboratories. The Saint John Paul II Center for Science Innovation features multiple learning and research labs, including exercise science, human anatomy, advanced chemistry, occupational therapy and physics. Each lab is equipped with the latest in technology, including two Anatomage virtual dissection tables that display 3D images of human anatomy with stunning detail in a multitude of layers, views and perspectives. In addition, a redesigned chemistry curriculum focused on innovative teaching practices led to Walsh’s first National Science Foundation Grant (NSF) for $600,000 to fund scholarships for students interested in pursuing a degree in chemistry. With a 255 percent increase in the number of students majoring in the sciences at Walsh since 2005, construction was expedited to meet a critical need for additional space after breaking ground in spring of 2014. That number is expected to grow as Walsh continues to develop new programs, such as the five new majors and new minor introduced in the last two years. To learn more about the Saint John Paul II Center for Science Innovation, click on this Walsh University press release.

Median Family Income Increases in Stark County – According to the American Community Survey one year data, the median family income in Stark County has increased 17% (over $8,000) from 2005 to 2013. Some of this increase may be attributable to the increase in educational attainment in Stark County over the past decade as a higher percentage of residents are completing associate and bachelor’s degrees. To learn more about education in Stark County, click on the Stark Education Partnership website.

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