5 big Butler County projects that will benefit most from $24M in state funds

Butler County is set to receive more than $23.8 million in state funding for 10 projects in this year’s capital budget, which is expected to be approved at the end of the month.

Here are the top 5 projects impacted the most:

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Pearson Hall at Miami University in Oxford: $19.52M

Miami University at three of its campuses is slated to receive more than $20.7 million in capital budget funding for four projects. But the largest chunk of that money is expected to be invested in a major renovation project at Miami’s Pearson Hall on its Oxford campus.

Lawmakers earmarked $19.52 million for this $30 million project designed to renovate and modernize Pearson Hall, a classroom and teaching lab, which will directly impact more than 8,000 undergraduate students a year.

Around thousands of graduate and undergraduates students take classes in Pearson, investing tens of thousands of hours in laboratory and related STEM research.

The proposed changes in classroom and teaching lab space will allow the continued training of highly competitive graduates prepared to succeed.

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Champions Mills Event & Conference Center: $1M

The city of Hamilton is set to receive only a portion of the millions of dollars it requested for the $33 million Champion Mill Conference and Events Center. But it is still set to receive $1 million lawmakers earmarked for the project. The city requested $5 million.

Hamilton is pursuing the project in collaboration with the Butler County Port Authority and the Butler County Visitor’s Bureau, and it would “transform” part of the old Hamilton Champion Paper Mill complex into a state of the art facility, according to its capital budget request.

The $33 million project makes up only a fraction of the $150 million that will be invested into the Champion Mill Redevelopment Project in the heart of downtown Hamilton. A 750,000-square-foot sports, entertainment and event complex, known as Spooky Nook, will be on the west shore of the Great Miami River.

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Middletown Regional Airport: $750K

The Middletown Regional Airport is expected to receive $750,000 to invest in developing dozens of acres of prime airport property.

This will not only set up the city to bring in additional jobs but assist in education opportunities, according to city officials.

“A community must be prepared to answer the fundamental workforce question from employers — where are the workers coming from? This is as important as the status of water, sewer, electric and fiber are to a potential project,” Matt Eisenbraun, Middletown Economic Development assistant director, said regarding the expansion of the airport.

Magellan Aerospace Middletown has announced two expansion projects over the next three years, which will increase its workforce needs by 40-plus positions. Additionally, Cincinnati State Middletown is preparing to offer aviation maintenance programs beginning with avionics and electronic component repair this fall, but the school will be limited in its programs to classes which do not need hanger space at the airport until space can be built to accommodate FAA education program requirements.

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Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

VOA MetroPark Athletic Complex: $350K

The county park system is budgeted to receive $350,000 to install a pair of synthetic turf fields with lights at the Athletic Complex at VOA MetroPark.

Millions of dollars have been invested in the 24-field complex. The complex’s largest fields, known as the “center nine,” are the focal point for major tournaments at the park. Two of the center nine fields are synthetic turf with lighting, which allows for outdoor play in almost all types of weather.

The total project at VOA MetroPark is expected to cost $2.14 million, according to the proposal sent to Ohio Rep. George Lang’s office, as two more of the “center nine” fields will be converted from non-lighted natural grass fields to synthetic turf fields with lights.

The VOA MetroPark has already attracted major events, including the annual Supra Boats Pro Wakeboard Tour last summer and the 2018 USA Triathlon Youth and Junior National Championships set for this summer.

The VOA MetroPark Athletic Complex previously received $1 million in state capital budget funds in 2014.

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Butler Tech: $200K

Butler Tech asked the state for $220,000 for new equipment as it seeks to renovate its adult manufacturing training programs in Hamilton. It’s set to receive $200,000 for the plans to update and expand two Precision Machining labs that serve the school’s students, according to the proposal Butler Tech.

The project would support the schools in Hamilton and Colerain Twp.

This includes adding a 3D metal printer to train students in Additive Technology, support for new marketing initiatives to bring a larger number of students into manufacturing programs, and provide more College Credit Plus offerings allowing students to receive their needed credentials, college credit, and a high probability of a job with a local manufacturer.

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