Energy Drive Dedicated May 6 in Louisville – It’s an expensive highway costing $5.1 million and covering less than a mile—but Energy Drive means much more to Louisville and Stark County than the construction price. Energy Drive opens up the Beck Industrial Park. It’s the route that will be used most often by employees and contractors of Chesapeake Energy as they leave the company’s regional field office and head for the developing Utica Shale oil and natural gas fields. Between 500 and 700 people will be employed at the complex once it’s operating. A five-story office building is being constructed on the north side of the intersection of Energy Drive and Beck Avenue and should be finished within a year. Plans call for a 1,000 ft. railroad spur and several silos for storing sand for hydraulic fracturing. Mayor Patricia Fallot recognized William Jeffries, president of Groffre Investments, who worked hard to make sure the industrial park became Chesapeake’s home in Ohio. The city secured a $3.5 million Job Ready Site grant from the state to build the road and develop the site. Louisville and Groffre Investments each contributed $750,000 toward the project. The project required a 420-foot bridge over the east branch of the Nimishillen Creek. Mayor Fallot also thanked managers of Hammontree & Associates and Beaver Excavating for work done in planning and designing the project, and to Stark Development Board for assisting with grant applications and other aspects. To learn more about the project and dedication, click on this Canton Repository article.

Kent State University at Stark Breaks Ground for New Sciences Building – Kent State University at Stark is responding to the current and future needs of the sciences and health sciences disciplines by adding a state-of-the-art building that will feature educational technology, as well as provide a platform for increased student research through hands-on education and active learning. A groundbreaking ceremony for the Sciences Building was held May 15 at Kent State Stark on the walkway outside of Main Hall. The project is part of the university’s “Foundations of Excellence: Building the Future” initiative, which involves the construction of new buildings, facility upgrades and establishment of dynamic new spaces. As science-related programs continue to flourish at Kent State Stark (670 science students), the new Sciences Building, which begins construction in Fall 2013, will play a critical role in providing the necessary resources to enhance student experiences and to attract the brightest scientific minds to Stark County. The 41,140 Sq. Ft., $17 million building will include teaching gardens and an outdoor classroom, additional lab space with contemporary design, research space for students to collaborate with faculty, eco-friendly building featuring science displays, expanded nursing simulation labs, and additional computer labs to benefit a variety of majors. To learn more about the new Sciences Building, click on this university press release.

Stark State Trustees Approve Purchase of Cornerstone II for New Downtown Satellite Center – Stark State College selected Cornerstone II as the site for its new Downtown Canton Satellite Center and Energy Institute, pending approval Monday by the State Controlling Board. According to Dr. Para Jones, president of Stark State College, the Board of Trustees approved the $4.9 million purchase at its meeting on Wednesday night, May 15. Funding for the building, located at 400 Third St. SE in downtown Canton, comes from a $10 million State of Ohio capital appropriation. The remaining $5.1 million will be used to develop the building and purchase equipment to support current academic programming as well as oil and gas training. An additional $500,000 grant from The Timken Foundation will support equipment purchases. Stark State is quickly becoming a regional training hub for oil and gas as new academic programs are developed under the direction of Kathleen Steere, coordinator of oil and gas programs, in conjunction with an advisory board comprised of community leaders and experts in the oil and gas field. “There is a strong and growing supply chain around the oil and gas industry in Stark and surrounding counties,” Jones said. “We will continue to work with our business partners in the region to evaluate needs and develop education and training programs to support that supply chain.” In the energy field, Stark State College has for many years led in programming, training and research partnerships with international and world-renowned companies such as The Timken Company, Lockheed Martin and LG Fuel Cell Systems, Inc. (formerly Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems), which has its global headquarters on Stark State’s campus. To learn more about the purchase, click on Stark State’s press release.

Two Stark County Companies Honored for Exporting Efforts – Two Stark County companies recently were recognized with the President’s “E” Award, which honors outstanding contributions to U.S. exporting. Honored were U.S. Chemical & Plastics of Massillon, and Miller Weldmaster Corp. of Navarre. The companies received the awards from acting U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Rebecca Blankin during a May 20 ceremony in Washington, D.C. U.S. Chemical has been operating in Massillon since 1995. The company manufactures auto-body repair products, such as urethane base-coat paint, clear coats and “puddy.” Miller Weldmaster employs 85 people and manufacturers thermal plastic welding machines, which are for the production of tents, awnings, rafts and billboard signs. Exporting is 50% of Miller Weldmaster’s business. Eight companies in Northeast Ohio are among the 57 companies nationwide that were presented with the rewards. “E” Awards are the highest recognition any U.S. entity can receive for making a significant contribution to the expansion of U.S. exports. To read more about the recognition, click on this Massillon Independent article.

U.S. News Ranks Six Stark High Schools Among the Best in the Nation for 2013 – Joining forces with the Washington-based American Institutes for Research, U.S. News reviewed data from over 21,000 high schools to arrive at its 2013 national rankings, released April 23. Jackson, Hoover, Lake and East Canton High Schools earned the publication’s Silver Award designation, ranking among the top 10% of all schools in the nation. Marlington and Sandy Valley High Schools received national recognition with the Bronze Award. Rankings are based on state proficiency tests and college preparation, using Advanced Placement tests as a key measure. Nearly 80% of the nation’s high schools do not meet the criteria for ranking or recognition. To read more about the rankings, click on this Stark Education Partnership newsletter.


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