The OSU Extension Service will take up most of the space in the building.
By STEPHEN SIFF
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
CORTLAND -- Trumbull County commissioners have formally accepted Delphi Packard Electric Systems' donation of 17 acres for the creation of a new Agriculture and Family Education Center near the shores of Mosquito Lake.
"It is a nice area," said Commissioner Joseph J. Angelo Jr. He estimated that the property, located to the left [west] of Delphi's driveway off West Main Street, was worth between $150,000 and $200,000.
"From our perspective, it is the most beautiful site we could find for this type of facility," said John Parker, chairman of the center committee.
Plans: In March, the county commissioners issued $1 million worth of bonds to build the Agriculture and Family Education Center with offices for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency, the National Resources Conservation Service, the soil and water conservation district, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and Ohio State University's extension service. Construction is expected to begin this summer.
Plans call for a 9,500-square-foot building with a 200-seat auditorium, Angelo said. He said the agencies would pay a combined $40,000 a year in rent to the county.
Nearly half the space will be devoted to the OSU extension office. Parker, who is retired from the extension service, said the current Trumbull County extension office is "grossly inadequate."
"The facilities of the other agencies weren't really adequate to their needs, and there is a utility in having one stop for the convenience of people," he said.
Consolidating all the agencies that deal with agriculture into one location has been talked about in the county for more than 40 years, Angelo said.
Working in the same building will not only be convenient for employees, who often rely on other agencies' expertise, but also for farmers who may deal with several of the offices.
The grounds surrounding the building may be used to demonstrate farming and conservation techniques such as no-till cultivation, crop rotation and riparian strips, Parker said. Schools and 4-H groups could also use the gardens, he said.