2008-05-28 / Front Page

Wind Project, NSCC In Line For State Capital Bill Money

by David Pugh Buckeye Staff Writer

The wind power project, a joint venture between the Archbold and Pettisville school districts and Northwest State Community College, is in line for $250,000 in State of Ohio money.

Additionally, Northwest State could receive money to construct a new Allied Health building on its campus.

Bruce Goodwin, state representative, R-Defiance, said last week the wind power project was included in the State House of Representatives version of the state capital budget bill.

The bill must pass the Senate.

"We are excited to see support coming from the house, and we are grateful for the efforts of representative Goodwin, representative (Lynn) Wachtmann (R-Napoleon) and senator (Steve) Buehrer (RDelta)," said David Deskins, district superintendent.

"One of the benefits of the House bill is we can hold the money for up to two years.

"The dilemma facing school districts in Northwest Ohio is, with the cost of wind turbines, it can take years to generate enough money to pay back the cost.

"Having money available (through the capital bill) can make it easier to obtain matching grants" to fund the project.

In other words, money from the capital bill can be used as local matching funds to obtain additional grant money.

Unanswered Questions

At this point, Deskins said there still are many unanswered questions about the wind power project.

"We are continuing our research," he said.

Last month, Green Energy Ohio said Archbold would be one of two sites in Ohio to receive the use of a wind test tower, through its Anemometer Loan Program.

The 50-meter (164.04 feet) temporary tower will be installed on the property of the new Archbold Evangelical Church, near the high school.

The tower has wind-speed measuring devices at different levels to record data to determine if there is enough wind energy available to make an electricity-generating windmill economically feasible.

"I'm confident the results of the Green Energy Ohio study will be positive," Deskins said.

"We're really excited and pleased. We've gained momentum from the House bill, and we're hopeful the Senate will provide support," he said.

Health Building

Northwest State Community College is also in line for state capital funds for a new Allied Health studies building.

Michael M. Brown, NSCC director of public relations and marketing, said the price tag of a proposed building is about $1 million.

Ground could be broken in the spring of 2009, he said.

But there is a lot of work to be done.

Allied Health has been a growing field of study, and will need to grow more to meet the demand for qualified workers.

Brown said by 2010, approximately 40% of the U.S. population will be 60 years old, or older.

"People are living longer, they're active longer, they need more health care," he said.

Brown said two years ago, Northwest State's medical assisting program had a total of four students. Today, there are 50.

NSCC's much-praised nursing program needs additional classroom and clinical space, where students can work with patients.

A Building

Currently, Allied Health studies is crowded into the second floor of Northwest State's A Building, the original 40-yearold structure.

Moving health classes to their own dedicated building would give Northwest State more flexibility in scheduling classes, Brown said.

There are no concrete specifi- cations for a new Allied Health building, and the money that would fund it would not be totally new dollars.

Brown said Tom Stuckey, NSCC president, and college officials are trying to put together the money for the new building from cash earmarked for renovations, he said.

While there are about 3,500 students taking classes through Northwest State, Brown said the college is mandated to grow.

"We're trying to get the state to recognize that we have to make an investment in the college for it to grow," he said.

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