Substantial donation to campus science and technology building seen as community builder
Sakamura USA of Marion, Ohio recently made a substantial investment in this region’s higher education infrastructure, presenting the first installment of a $50,000 donation to The Ohio State University at Marion’s future Science & Engineering Building.
Ohio State Marion Director of Community Relations & Development, Dave Claborn was informed of the news Wednesday and officially met with and personally thanked Sakamura USA Executive Director & Treasurer, Naomi Taniguchi and the company for their generous donation.
A successful year and a sense of giving back to the community they call their North American home was important to the company’s executive director in Marion, as well as Jun Kobayashi President of Sakamura USA.
Speaking on behalf of Sakamura USA, Tanaguchi felt the impact of Ohio State on the Marion community was tremendous.
“Education is very important to build the company and the community,” explained Taniguchi.
Office Controller Heather Delawder, who handles human resources for Sakamura USA, knows a highly trained, educated, and professional workforce represents the future for the company and the community.
Thinking back to the company’s early days, “we struggled to find a good quality educated workforce,” she said.
The company does an estimated $3 million in annual sales and employs 17 workers (soon to add 3 more positions) from their 15 thousand square foot facility on 7 acres at 970 Kellogg Parkway in Marion’s Dual Rail Industrial Park.
“This is tremendous,” said Claborn. “This may be the smallest building, (in the Dual Rail Park) but they are doing the biggest thing for the campus.”
Although Claborn and Taniguchi have only been discussing a donation for the past 5 or 6 months, Claborn is no stranger to Sakamura USA. According to Taniguchi, he was instrumental in locating and establishing the company in Marion from his days with Marion’s economic development organization, CANDO.
According to Claborn, the synergy between Ohio State Marion and Sakamura USA comes at a perfect time. Campus administration and the College of Engineering at Ohio State recently added coursework for the first two years of Ohio State’s engineering program on the Marion campus.
With the addition and rapid growth of this program, he explained, Ohio State Marion is “drawing engineering students from all over the state.”
This has further strengthened the need to grow science, mathematics, and engineering education offerings on the local campus, added Claborn.
“What this gift does, and the new engineering program does, is bring highly qualified students,” to Marion, he said.
The Science & Engineering Building project at Ohio State Marion is expected to be voted into the university’s Capital Plan by the university’s Board of Trustees this summer. If approved, the next step would be for the university to take bids from architectural firms. The campus anticipates beginning the building process a year to a year and a half from date of approval.
Science-based courses are currently taught in Morrill Hall, the oldest building on the Marion campus. Ohio State Marion’s current lab spaces for physics, chemistry, biology, geology and a number of other sciences need room for growth and more modern equipment such as additional hoods for chemistry experiment stations. Engineering lab space has been carved out of the Library Classroom Building and is already at capacity.
According to the campus administration, rapid growth and need for more science and mathematics coursework for both current and potential future degree programs is what is driving the need for the new facility.
The cost of the Science & Engineering Building at Ohio State Marion is estimated at $15 million. Financing for construction will come from a combination of philanthropic donations and campus reserve funds.
The conceptual building plan assumes a two story building at approximately 32,500 square feet with numerous green features designed to lower operational costs and the environmental impact of the building. It will also serve as a “living laboratory” on environmental sustainability for engineering, biology, environmental studies, and other students.
Campus planners anticipate key programmatic components of the building will be: biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and engineering teaching laboratories, as well as biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences, and engineering research laboratories. A prairie laboratory; greenhouse, classrooms, offices, and support spaces are also anticipated. The new building will feature informal study and gathering spaces for students, faculty, and staff in the lobby, corridors, and other areas throughout the structure.
About Sakamura USA
First established in 1997, Sakamura USA was located in Lewis Center, Ohio and provided sales support to Sakamura Machine Company, located in Japan. As both companies prospered, Sakamura USA built a new facility in Marion, Ohio in 2001. This move allowed Sakamura USA the ability to expand and reinforce its service system and sales network in North America.
Sakamura Machine Company provides high quality machines to the forging industry, and Sakamura USA supports these products in all aspects of sales, service, manufactured parts, tooling, and technology.
It has always been the philosophy of Sakamura Machine Company to give its customers the most advanced forging technology available in the industry. At Sakamura USA, we stand ready to support that philosophy by serving the forging industry needs of our customers for machinery software, hardware, and other related equipment.