Survey supports ag bioscience school for Springfield

Published: Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 6:45 AM
Updated: Monday, September 24, 2012 @ 6:45 AM

The Global Impact STEM Academy by the numbers

70,000 square feet of space needed for the STEM school

1 in 7 Ohio jobs in the agriculture field

2013-14 school year goal for opening the Global Impact STEM Academy

200 students wanted for the first year

$9 million in renovations at South High location

$4.5 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission for renovations

$4.5 million from fundraising for renovations

A majority of parents and students surveyed said they would consider a science, technology, engineering and math-focused high school if available in the Clark County area.

The survey, part of market research funded by the Springfield City School District for $14,500, tested the marketability of an agricultural STEM school called the Global Impact STEM Academy, proposed by Sen. Chris Widener, R-Springfield.

Nearly 85 percent of the more than 500 Clark County parents surveyed — a sample size larger than many political surveys — said they thought the STEM school was a good idea. Seventy-three percent said they would allow a child who wanted to attend the school to enroll.

“We think we have a pretty favorable, pretty marketable idea, things that parents like,” said Widener.

In a similar survey of students, 63 percent responded that they thought the plan for the school was a good idea. About 28 percent said they would attend the school and 50 percent said they might attend.

Students and parents in the survey responded affirmatively to other parts of the plan as well, including the school’s partnership with the Ohio State University.

Widener hopes the Global Impact STEM Academy, which would focus on agricultural biosciences, would be the first of a network of similar schools around the state.

During a community meeting last week hosted by the city schools, several residents and community leaders spoke in support of the school, especially a plan to re-use South High School, which closed as a school in 2008, as the school’s location. The STEM school would occupy about 70,000 square feet in South High and renovate the space using about $4.5 million from the Ohio School Facilities Commission and $4.5 million in fundraising.

Officials hope to open the school in the fall of 2013 with an inaugural group of about 200 students in 9th and 11th grades.

“This school’s going to grab a bunch of those kids that can’t do things in a regular classroom, but they get over there and they can really bloom. We’ve spent so long trying to teach everybody the same way … I really believe that this is another piece of that puzzle that will make things work for kids,” said Basil Fett, a retired Huber Heights teacher who lives in Springfield.

Jordan Copeland, who coaches middle school basketball for the city schools, said he had seen several companies mentioned by Widener as potential industry employers, at a recent job fair.

“Those companies were there recruiting engineers, chemical engineers, bioscience engineers,” he said. “If they’re coming out of Springfield, I just think that’d be awesome.”

Copeland said he liked that the school would include project-based learning.

“I think actually seeing those things, getting hands-on, getting experience is something that a lot of kids in our community don’t necessarily get the opportunities to do,” he said. “A school like this just would provide some of these kids a chance no one else in the state’s getting.”

A retired agriculture teacher from New Carlisle, Paul Snyder stressed the importance of internships and experience if the school were to be located in the city.

“If you’re gonna have it here.. because it’s in the inner city and unrelated to rural areas I think you want to really emphasize and have the internships,” he said.

If the plan comes to fruition, the Global Impact STEM Academy would be the first regional STEM school in the state to tie itself to an industry. Approximately one in seven Ohio jobs are in the agricultural field, according to Widener.

Where to find your faves: 5 winners from Best of Springfield

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 2:37 PM

            The dining room of Guerra’s Krazy Taco. Bill Lackey/Staff
The dining room of Guerra’s Krazy Taco. Bill Lackey/Staff

The Chamber of Greater Springfield announced the winners of the annual Best of Springfield competition, a fan vote with residents choosing their favorite places from in and around the Springfield area in a variety of categories, on Thursday. More than 30 businesses were recognized by the Chamber across categories such as best cheap eats, best bar and others. Here’s where you can find five of your new local favorites and what makes them special.

» DETAILS: Best of Springfield: See who won in all 32 categories

1. Best Cheap Eats: Guerra’s Krazy Taco

This cozy Mexican spot has been a fan favorite for years. Located at 229 N. Belmont Avenue in Springfield, Guerra’s is known for providing big portions with huge flavor for small prices. People who stop by can also enjoy the unique atmostphere, which features a lot of colorful references to the culture of the cuisine.

2. Best Bar & Best Patio: Mother Stewart’s Brewing Co.

Mother Stewart’s, located at 109 W. North Street in Springfield, prides itself on its rich atmosphere. Featuring a spacious dining area, the family-owned beer garden offers a lot more than choice suds: there’s also often live music, special events and visits from some of the city’s best food trucks.

3. Best Pizza: The Hickory Inn

Having served the greater Springfield community for over 70 years, The Hickory Inn has a long-standing track record for being one of Springfield’s finest. Located at 629 N. Limestone Street, the family-friendly spot features locally-sourced food and tons of options. Some of their pizza offerings that won them their prize include the White Greek, the Pesto Chicken and the Mexican Mild, though you can build your own for an extra special touch.

4. Best Fine Dining: Cecil & Lime Cafe

Located at 227 E. Cecil Street in Springfield, Cecil & Lime caters to the more refined palate with its array of thoughtful options. Elevated dishes like sea scallops over lobster risotto and rack of lamb are only a few examples of what diners can enjoy in the upscale atmosphere. The prices may be higher here, but they’re definitely well worth it.

5. Best Coffee & Best Sweets: Winan’s Chocolates + Coffees

If you’re looking for a great cup of coffee with customer service to match, look no farther than Winan’s. Springfield’s branch of the Ohio-based retailer, located at 32 N. Fountain Avenue, is one of the chain’s newest and they’re already making an impact. They offer a number of mellow blends for caffiene lovers, but their real claim to fame is their menu of gourmet chocolates like double dark meltaways and peanut butter smidgens that will have you counting down the time until you can visit again.

» READ MORE: Downtown Springfield business owner sells after 15 years of growth

» READ MORE: FOOD DEAL: How to get a $3 burrito from Chipotle on Halloween

Hometown favorites: 3 places that make Springfield special

Published: Saturday, October 21, 2017 @ 11:47 AM

Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen
Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen(HANDOUT)

Sometimes, the most fascinating things about your hometown are hiding in plain sight.

Here are three local landmarks you may want to visit so you can rediscover their magic all over again — or see them for the first time.

1. The Hartman Rock Garden

The restored Hartman Rock Garden in Springfield will be dedicated on June 26. Staff Photo by Barbara J. Perenic(Barbara J. Perenic)

Started in 1932 by Harry George “Ben” Hartman, the Hartman Rock Garden, located at 1905 Russell Ave., started as a single stone pond. Hartman, who had been laid off from his job as a molder, soon began building other things from rocks, bits of metal, concrete and anything else he came across, creating a stunningly detailed garden world unique in its own right.

Now, after 85 years, the garden still welcomes tourists from all over the world to see the intricate creations inside what Hartman’s wife, Mary, called a “garden of love.”

» READ MORE: Hartman Rock Garden gaining solid ground as tourist draw

2. George Rogers Clark Park

George Rogers Clark Park, Springfield (Courtesy of iWitness 7 Contributor Eric Wright)(Breaking News Staff)

The George Rogers Clark Park has a unique history, set on the site where the Battle of Peckuwe was fought and won by Clark in 178re0 near the end of the Revolutionary War.

Now the park, which can be found at 936 South Tecumseh Road, plays host to a quiet atmosphere with many natural trails, scenic waterways, and an open lake. The park is also the site of the Fair at New Boston every Labor Day weekend, which allows visitors to enjoy an 18th Century atmosphere and learn about the history of the time.

» READ MORE: Clark County has plenty of local recreation options

3. The Pennsylvania House

The Pennsylvania House at 1311 W. Main Street. The Springfield Historic Landmarks Commission passed a resolution of support for a special panel to identify a list of potential buildings and sites for designation as local landmarks. The Pennsylvannia House is already designated a local landmark. Bill Lackey/Staff(Bill Lackey)

The Pennsylvania House, originally constructed in 1839, was a vital part of the National Road before trains became a major option for settling the western frontier. Travelers used the site to rest on their journeys, and the inn there is said to have housed famous historical figures such as Charles Dickens and James K. Polk.

It is now part of the National Historic Register and operates as a museum located at 1311 W. Main Street and houses many artifacts of the past, from an extensive button collection to its own architecture. The museum is only open from 1 to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from March through December and is closed on all major holidays. Admission is $10 for adults and $3 for students.

1 flown to hospital in crash that closes I-75N in Shelby County

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:01 PM
Updated: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 6:25 PM

UPDATE @ 6:25 p.m.

The northbound lanes of Interstate 75 are back open at Ohio 274 near Botkins in Shelby County.

The vehicle in the crash is off the side of the highway, but traffic remains backed up.

A medical helicopter took one person to an area hospital.


The northbound lanes of Interstate 75 are shut down this evening near Botkins in Shelby County.

The highway is closed at I-75 N at Ohio 274.

A medical helicopter has been called to the crash scene, and the crash resulted in significant vehicle damage, according to initial reports.

Cedarville HS band plays Greenon fight song in honor of student killed in crash

Published: Friday, October 20, 2017 @ 10:44 PM

At tonight's Greenon vs Cedarville game, Cedarville's band played Greenon's fight song to honor Kendal “Kenny” DePhillip, who died in a car accident on Sunday (CONTRIBUTED/Mariah Gossett).

The Cedarville High School marching band tonight played the Greenon High School fight song in honor of the marching band member killed in a weekend crash.

The Cedarville band faced Greenon fans when they played the fight song.

>>Driver in crash that killed Greenon student says he ‘fell asleep’

It was in tribute of 16-year-old Kendal “Kenny” DePhillip, a Greenon  junior who was a passenger in a car that crashed Sunday afternoon on Fowler Road in Clark County. He was a member of the marching band and on the swim team.

The musical tribute happened during the football game at the Cedarville stadium, which Greenon’s varsity team won with a score of 7-6. Video above was contributed by student Mariah Gossett.

>>Greenon mourns 3rd student death in 2 months in fatal car crashes

The driver of the car was a fellow Greenon student, 16-year-old Andrew Scott, who sustained non-life threatening injuries.

DePhillip was the third Greenon student to die in a crash this academic year.

A crash in August killed David Waag and Connor Williams.