COLUMBUS – Ohio 4-H’ers are one large step closer to a new home.
The capital bill passed by the Ohio legislature and signed by the governor last week includes $1.5 million for the new Nationwide and Ohio Farm Bureau 4-H Center, pushing the fund raising for the center to $12.3 million of the $12.6 million goal.
Close to construction. That means construction should begin this summer, said Jeff King, assistant director of Ohio State University Extension in charge of Ohio 4-H Youth Development.
The center will be built opposite the Schottenstein Center near Lane Avenue and Fyffe Road.
The fund-raising drive was launched in 2000. Nationwide Foundation and the Ohio Farm Bureau Federation have donated gifts and pledges totaling $6 million toward the center.
More than 2,000 donors have contributed to the center, including grassroots efforts involving 4-H clubs, members, families, and current and retired OSU Extension employees.
Truly green. Beyond the 4-H program’s green four-leaf clover, the center is “green” environmentally, too.
As designed, the center is geared to meet specifications in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Green Building Rating System.
The center will use a geothermal heating system and will recycle rainwater for irrigation.
Impact. About 300,000 youths and 37,000 volunteers in Ohio are involved in Ohio 4-H clubs and programs.
Volunteers donate 5 million hours a year towards the program, time worth nearly $70 million, according to Ohio State University Extension: A Generator of Positive Economic Impacts for Ohio, a study prepared by Battelle.
Ohio’s new 4-H center
The 44,000-square-foot center’s plans include:
* A room equipped with multimedia technology, with seating for up to 40 people.
* Several meeting/multi-purpose rooms that can accommodate up to 500.
* A computer laboratory and self-learning areas.
* Classrooms and demonstration areas.
* An outdoor education area.
* A reception area, offices, conference rooms, work and storage areas, display areas, and a serving kitchen with warming ovens.