|Alicia Chamberlin (left)
and Kary Brister working inside new Culinary Arts Center on the campus of Owens Community College.
(Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
PERRYSBURG TOWNSHIP – A newly-constructed Culinary Arts Center on the Oregon Road campus of Owens
Community College is being formally dedicated today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
A ribbon cutting ceremony was slated for 11:30 as Owens representatives, community leaders and elected
officials gathered to officially open the facility’s doors. The ceremony features remarks by Mike Bower,
Ph.D., president of Owens, as well as comments by area elected officials and a representative from the
architectural and construction team.
Culinary students at Owens recently attending began classes in the new center.
The facility spans 14,000-square-feet – an increase over the 3,700-square-foot kitchen lab where classes
were taught in the past. The new facility includes three unique culinary labs: a baking lab, a culinary
skills lab, and a restaurant skills lab.
The center also includes a classroom and a 75-person capacity dining area with a demonstration station
overlooking a tree-lined patio. The center’s large dining area will host lunches and special events,
giving students real-world experience creating menus, preparing and plating food and serving.
"This new facility creates many new and exciting opportunities for our students that were not
available in our old space," said Joann Gruner, chairperson of the Food, Nutrition and Hospitality
program. "Having a larger space will also allow us to eliminate student wait lists and better meet
the needs of the community by providing non-credit courses and industry training in culinary arts."
State appropriated capital renovation and equipment funds were used to finance the $3.1 million
construction project, completed by Holland, Ohio-based Midwest Contracting. Owens received major grants
from The Honor Project Trust in the amount of $50,056 for audiovisual and information technology systems
and from The Andersons Inc. Charitable Foundation for $25,000 for equipment. Libbey Glass also made an
in-kind donation of tableware and service ware.
The Culinary Arts Center is home to five academic programs and certificates: the Associate of Applied
Science degree in Culinary Arts, the Associate of Applied Science degree in Dietetic Technology,
Associate of Applied Business degree in Hospitality Management, a Culinary Arts certificate and a Baking
and Pastry certificate. The American Culinary Federation Education Foundation recently recommended
Owens’ culinary program and certificates for full accreditation status.