ARCANUM — It was the realization of a vision that brought well over 100 individuals together to celebrate the opening of the new agricultural education, athletic, and community center at Arcanum-Butler High School on Saturday.
The event began with thanks to the multiple contributors, their support culminating in a facility that, as stated by John Stephens, Arcanum superintendent, builds upon the tradition of education and collaboration within the community.
“The fact that so many people stepped up financially to make this happen is a testament to the support of our students, the importance of agriculture in our community, and the love of athletics,” said Stephens, stating the collaboration is the highlight of his career. “I’m extremely proud.”
As shared by Ag Instructor and FFA Adviser Brian Pohlman, the vision began some 40 months ago when the school restarted the FFA Chapter. Along the way, the program would earn recognition at both the state and national level and now boasts well over 100 students.
It was in 2016 that Pohlman sat with school administrators to discuss proper facilities for a growing, top-notch program.
It was going to be a five-year plan to look at the possibility of an addition. However, the timeline was well exceeded, said Pohlman, thanks to the school superintendent’s dedication and commitment to see the building come to fruition.
Pohlman also thanked the multiple supporters and donors, stating, “What a great day to be a Trojan. You, the Arcanum community, made this dream a reality.”
The 20,000-square-foot addition was made possible thanks to financial contributors from Ralph and Phyllis Brumbaugh, Greenville National Bank, and Jafe Decorating, to name only a few. The numerous individuals and businesses are recognized with nameplates in the hallway of the new addition.
Garmann Miller and Associates, of Minster, were the architects.
The addition includes vocational and agriculture laboratories, multiple welding booths as well as a greenhouse. There is ample classroom space, storage areas, and restrooms with the athletic center hosting a variety of exercise equipment thanks to the work of the athletic boosters.
Athletic director, Jason Schondelmyer, says he gets goosebumps whenever he walks into the new athletic facility. He emphasized the new facility will help close the gap with their competition and will develop trust amongst teammates as they work through what he believes is the process of championship, which builds comradery.
“This building is going to help us in that area tremendously,” said Schondelmyer. “I’m so excited. I’m so thankful. I can’t tell you how good it feels.”
The grand opening and ribbon-cutting included a video highlighting the construction of the facility and ended with a quote from Coretta Scott King. It fit well with a vision turned to reality thanks to the generosity of others: The greatness of a community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members.