Philips Conference Center Construction Begins
MANSFIELD, Ohio (August 29, 2013) – Construction of the Ralph Phillips Conference Center of North Central State College in Shelby will begin this fall thanks to the support of community donors. According to North Central State College President Dorey Diab, the College’s Foundation has raised $1.2 million to complete Phase 1 of the new conference facility which is located within the James W. Kehoe Center.
Bids for the Phase 1 renovation have been received and approved. Work on the third floor of the Kehoe Center will begin soon with a target completion date in early 2014.
Both the Richland Community Development Group (RCDG) and the Mansfield/Richland County Convention & Visitors Bureau support this major effort for the benefit of north central Ohio community development.
The College’s conference center project was initiated when the College Foundation received a $750,000 gift from the family of the late industrialist Ralph Phillips. Since the conference center announcement in 2011, the College Foundation has been raising funds to allow the College to begin the project’s first phase.
“We are appreciative of the support of the Phillips Family, including Angela Phillips, to help us get this project started,” Diab said. “Two anonymous donors from the Mansfield area also have pledged an additional $150,000 for the project, and we have recently received contribution pledges from Mechanics Bank, Richland Bank, and the Richland County Foundation.”
In addition to the Phillips family, Mechanics Bank, Richland Bank, Richland County Foundation, and the anonymous donors, contributors to the Ralph Phillips Conference Center project are Dr. Ron Abrams and Dr. Billie Brandon; Kenny and Cathie Albert; Troy and Monica Baker; Barkdull Funeral Home; Frank and Deborah Benham; Bucyrus Area Community Foundation; CenturyLink; Ron and Mary Ellen Distl; John Gates and the Rev. Patricia Welch; Jim, Marge, and Gayle Gorman; Robert Hanline; Janet and Gary Keller; Kent Corporation; Charles and Paula Kilgore; Mr. and Mrs. Charles Mack; Karl and Jill Milliron; Mick and Jean Rupp; Edward and Cheryl Schumacher; Shelby Foundation; Shelby Community Improvement Corporation; Rick and Carol Taylor; Dr. Ed and Janice Winbigler; and Dr. Phillip and Dr. Patricia Zitko.
The Kehoe Center and the Ralph Phillips Conference Center is positioned adjacent to a new business park that was being developed by Ralph Phillips at the time of his death in September 2009. Now, Mr. Phillips’ family is continuing with his plans for a Technology and Innovation Park where tenants will work closely with North Central State College for training, personnel, and research and development needs.
From the beginning, the Ralph Phillips Conference Center project was planned in two phases: Phase 1 ($1.2 million) includes the third floor renovation of the large meeting/banquet room with central hallway. Phase 2 ($1.3 million) includes the renovation of the building’s third floor corporate suite of offices and storage rooms, turning them into an exhibit hall, breakout rooms, business facilities center, boardroom, and large meeting room spaces. The second phase will also include the remodeling of the interior side entrance to Kehoe’s first floor, the establishment of outdoor walking paths in a park-like setting, and an obstacle course for corporate retreats.
Now that the goal of $1.2 million has been reached to complete the first major phase of the project, fund-raising for Phase 2 will be conducted as part of the College Foundation’s next major capital campaign commencing in 2014.Donations for North Central State’s Ralph Phillips Conference Center will be gratefully accepted by the North Central State College Foundation office, on campus at Kee Hall Room 122, or by calling 419-755-4753. A donor recognition wall will be installed in the Ralph Phillips Conference Center and unveiled to the public when the first construction phase is complete.