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West Side Education News & Notes

5/16/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

OMNOVA Solutions Foundation awards scholarships

GREATER AKRON — For the 17th year, OMNOVA Solutions Foundation is awarding scholarships to graduating seniors from Akron Public Schools.

The foundation awarded 16 new four-year $2,000 per year scholarships and one four-year $3,000 per year science and technology scholarship to students. Scholarship recipients from the West Side Leader coverage area include: Mary Hankton and Ashaunté Dent, of Buchtel High School; LaTasha Head and DeGrafth Palmore, of Akron Early College; and Imokhai Okolo and Brittany Long, of Firestone High School, all of whom received the $2,000 scholarship.

“Our scholarship recipients continue to amaze me,” said Kevin McMullen, chairman and CEO of OMNOVA Solutions. “They are bright, energetic and talented young people who are a credit to their school, community and family. I know they will continue to make us proud with their accomplishments in their chosen fields after their college education is finished.”

These new scholarships are in addition to the 260 Akron-area students who have received award renewals in prior years. The renewals are based on the students’ grade point average.

The foundation scholarship program began in 1997. In 2001, the science and technology award was added. To date, the foundation has committed almost $1.6 million in scholarship for 277 students, according to foundation officials.

The foundation also will award one-year, nonrenewable scholarships to two Mogadore High School seniors and select seniors in each of the other nine company field locations in the United States. Scholarships are also awarded to students through the Akron Community Service Center & Urban League and Copley-Fairlawn Schools Foundation.

In addition, the foundation continues to sponsor the Technology Partnership Grants and Students Achievement Awards program of $2,500 to $24,000 awards for science and engineering research to several Ohio universities, including The University of Akron.

According to OMNOVA officials, out of the $538,547 contributed to date from the $1.5 million budget for this year, $344,505, or 64 percent, has gone toward education. The remainder has gone toward programs and services that improve education, economic development and quality of life in the communities where the company operates.

For details on the company, visit www.omnova.com.


Student housing projects geting under way

Construction has begun on the new student housing project called “The Depot” on East Exchange and Broadway streets. A rendering of the building is shown above.
Rendering courtesy of NRP Group
DOWNTOWN AKRON — With construction already under way, the University Edge student housing project is scheduled to be completed and ready in August 2014. The Development Finance Authority of Summit County (DFA), in collaboration with the city of Akron and University Square Investors II LLC, issued bonds to complete the project financing. Bond proceeds, $6.645 million, will finance the costs of the developer’s and the city’s site improvements at the 270 E. Exchange Street project.

University Edge is a mixed-use project consisting of 18,500 square feet of retail and student apartments and community facilities in the two-building complex. The new facility will offer a mix of two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments that can accommodate up to 578 students. Led by Founder and CEO Lawrence Levey and President Frank Licata, Akron-based LRC Realty is the project’s developer. 

Total project costs are nearly $44 million; earlier this month, the DFA and Huntington Bank collaborated to provide $30 million for building construction costs.

In addition, Cleveland-based NRP Group, a developer, general contractor and property manager, will invest more than $30 million at the site of the former Akron Beacon Journal newspaper sorting and storage facility — originally a freight station for the Erie Railroad — and construct a 624-bed, four-story student housing community.

The existing building, which has been deteriorating, is being taken down to make way for new construction of “The Depot” student apartments.  

Aaron Pechota, Vice President of Development at NRP Group, said it was important to the group to retain some of the existing history of the building and to find a way to bring those elements into the interior design of The Depot.

The Depot will offer on-site parking, a heated pool, outdoor lounge and outdoor bar and kitchen, indoor gas fireplace, indoor-outdoor living space, game room, large group fitness classroom and fitness facility, private study rooms, media lab room and conference room.

Students can choose from one-, two-, three- or four-bedroom floor plans. Inside each apartment, students will have their own individually keyed bedroom and bathroom, granite countertops, in-unit washer and dryer, walk-in closets, ceiling fans and flat-screen TV. Leasing will begin this August, although units will not be move-in ready until August 2014, according to developers. During construction, a temporary leasing center will open at 446 E. Exchange St., across from the stadium. NRP has partnered with Asset Campus Housing to handle the leasing and on-site property management.


Akron area students win chip bag contest

Akron Public Schools students, from left, Conner Mullins, Olivia Sendelbach and Chloe Heestand placed in the top five in the Shearer Student Perfection Contest.
Photo courtesy of Akron Public Schools
GREATER AKRON — Four out of five winners of the Shearer Student Perfection Contest hailed from the Akron area, according to company and school officials.

St. Sebastian student Alex Reeves is shown with his Chip Clip Case,
Photo courtesy of St. Sebastian Parish School
The snack foods maker asked students in fourth through eighth grades in Ohio and the Pittsburgh area to come up with a use for a used potato chip bag, thereby repurposing what would otherwise be waste. Entries were judged based on creativity, usefulness, feasibility and marketability, company officials said. Five students won U.S. Savings Bonds for their creations in the contest.

Placing first was Conner Mullins, of Cuyahoga Falls, a sixth-grade student of Perkins Pringle at the National Inventors Hall of Fame School…Center for Science Technology, Engineering and Math Learning. He received a $5,000 bond for his invention, titled “Water to Go.”

Second place went to Alex Reeves, of Akron, a St. Sebastian Parish School seventh-grade student of Betty Indriolo, for his “Chip Clip Case.” School officials said he won a $2,500 bond.

Akron resident Chloe Heestand, of Miller South School for the Visual and Performing Arts, a fifth-grade student of Laura Feltman, earned fourth place and a $750 bond for “Ice Cream Maker,” while Olivia Sendelbach, of Akron, from Roswell Kent Middle School, and seventh-grade student of Steven Frantz, received fifth place and a $500 bond for “Go Away Birdie.”

Company officials said 160 entries were submitted for the contest.

The students and their teachers received their awards at the Shearers factory in Massillon May 3. Following the awards presentation, they took a tour of the facility and had the chance to try potato chips fresh off the production line.


Kathleen Folkerth, Stephanie Kist and Maria Lindsay contributed to these reports.

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