ARCANUM – After a year of planning and raising more than $1 million, Arcanum-Butler Schools held a groundbreaking ceremony Friday for its 19,000- square-foot Multipurpose Agriculture and Athletic Building.
Superintendent John Stephans welcomed the entire student body and staff as well as several elected officials and school business partners to the ceremony, calling it a “momentous occasion.”
Stephans also took the opportunity to thank those who donated to the capital fundraising campaign, which began last spring, specifically recognizing campaign committee co-chairs Janelle Brinksneader and Phil Garbig and committee members Karin Baker, Amy Gostomsky, Rose Lambert, Dick Mathias, Randy O’Dell and Fred Troutwine.
“And thank you to all of you who donated in our community who generously donated anywhere from $50 to $250. Your donation is appreciated,” Stephans said. “The groundbreaking ceremony this afternoon marks the commencement of construction for additional educational and athletic space that will positively impact the students, staff and Arcanum-Butler community.”
Stephens also said the new facility will “greatly enhance our ability to provide hands-on learning opportunities and experiences for our students and supports agricultural education that can have a larger impact for our community, region and state.”
Special guests who were invited to share a few thoughts included Arcanum grad and former FFA President Alex Weiss, State Rep. Jena Powell, State Sen. Stephen Huffman, Director of Ohio Department of Agriculture Dorothy Pelanda and former State Rep. Jim Buchy.
Powell said the opportunity to speak to the entire Arcanum-Butler student body was a “dream come true.”
Growing up near Arcanum on a 2,000-acre family farm, Powell said, generated “some of my greatest memories,” which included driving semis and tractors and showing sheep at the Great Darke County Fair.
Powell urged the students to “take advantage” of their new ag ed building.
Buchy said he thought it was appropriate the groundbreaking ceremony was being held on the Ides of March, giving the crowd a little history lesson.
March 15 – Ides of March – was the day the Romans had set for settling their debts, Buchy explained, noting how the support from community and business partners had made it possible for the new building to be paid for when students walk in the first day.
“You are building a facility to continue the growth of the No. 1 business in the county,” Buchy said of the county’s rich agriculture history.
The district is working with Garmann Miller Architects to construct the facility, which will feature FFA classrooms, lab and greenhouse. There’s also space for additional storage and athletic facilities, including a weight room. A community room also is planned.
Stephans took time to thank the district’s business partners/donors, including Ralph and Phyllis Brumbaugh, Cargill, Jason Brewer, Jason Clemons, Lorey Collins, Lisa Norris, Somer Osswald, Hannah Stikeleather, Tom Taylor, Josh Witter, Edison State Community College, Chad Beanblossom, Rachel Carlisle, Rick Hanes, Dr. Doreen Larson, Bruce McKenzie, John Shishoff, Greenville Federal Bank, Jeff Kniese, Greenville National Bank, Amy Huber, JAFE Decorating, Katie Smith Contracting, Miami Valley Career Technology Center (lab), Dr. Nick Weldy, Phil and Karen Garbig, Premier Health, Shad Bernard, Mary Garman, Teresa Leeper, Mallon Pittman, MVH North Sports Medicine, Second National Bank, Jerry Beatty, The Andersons and Ted Hafer.