MOUNT VERNON — Central Ohio Technical College will hold a public dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting for its newly renovated Knox Campus building, Ariel Hall, 236 S. Main St., on Tuesday. The program will begin at 10 a.m., on Main Street in front of Ariel Hall, with keynote remarks by COTC President Bonnie L. Coe, Ph.D., and comments from Rich Frederick, Governor Kasich’s workforce policy director. Community leaders, including Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis, Ariel Corp. President and CEO Karen Buchwald Wright, and Ohio Cumberland Gas Co. President Mark Ramser will also share remarks. Main Street between Ohio Avenue and Gambier Street will be closed for the event. Additional parking will be available at the Dan Emmett Conference Center, 160 Howard Street.
Following the official ribbon cutting, refreshments will be served in Ariel Hall and the building will be open for self-guided tours and interactive exhibits until 4 p.m.
Community members can view the donor wall and a specially commissioned mural in The Ramser Family Community Board Room, painted by local artist Taylor Leaman, who will be present at the dedication ceremony.
Leaman’s painting has two main focuses, the first and most obvious is the perspective that very few people will ever see – an aerial view of Mount Vernon. The second is the nature of its unintended aesthetic. The community was built over time, building by building, creating a very specific visual pattern and without the idea of unifying the town visually as a whole. This has created a very unique and attractive scene that otherwise could not have been designed.
The mural represents Phase I of the artwork planned for the building. Artwork planned for Phase II will be unveiled on Sept. 7, 2012, during a community First Friday event. Phase II will commemorate COTC’s partnership with the communities in Knox County with a mural representing the communities of Fredericktown, Gambier, Danville, and Centerburg.
Through the generosity of local benefactors, Ariel Hall, once known as the local movie theatre, was purchased and donated to the college in 2006 for the purpose of establishing a full-service campus in downtown Mount Vernon. Despite challenges of an economic downfall, the community pledged $5.8 million in 2008 for the total renovation of the former theatre in a state-of-the art 35,000 square foot teaching and learning facility.
Published on March 15, 2012