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University announces USDA loan

Sep 11, 2017

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development Community Facilities Program has awarded Ohio Northern University a $67.2 million loan to support a variety of campus initiatives, including funds to help construct a new 105,000-square-foot College of Engineering building.

“The awarding of this loan will help build upon the great work that Ohio Northern University is already doing to prepare students for the 21st-century economy,” U.S. Rep. Bob Latta said. “ONU’s continued growth is not only an asset for students, but it benefits all of Hardin County as well. I commend ONU President Daniel DiBiasio’s leadership, which was instrumental in securing this loan, and I’m excited to see the positive impact it will have for the University and the surrounding community.”

In addition to providing funds for a new engineering building, the USDA loan will improve several other academic and administrative programs and enable the University to further strengthen its financial position by refinancing a portion of existing debt.

“The impact of the USDA loan on the University is extensive and far-reaching,” said DiBiasio. “It will benefit students, faculty and staff and enhance our ability to serve local communities and the entire region.”

The multi-million-dollar engineering facility will be nearly twice the size of the current 55,000-square-foot Biggs Engineering Building, and a sizable portion of the funds needed for construction were raised through the generous support of the ONU Board of Trustees, the Engineering Advisory Board, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the University. The new building will feature space for collaboration, innovation, class projects and program expansion, helping ONU remain on the cutting edge of educating engineers who make a difference. It will accommodate 600 students and include more than 10,000 square feet of large-scale project and design space for applied student projects and competitive design projects. Construction will begin by spring 2018, and the first classes will be held fall 2019.

Other programs will benefit as well, including the departments of Technological Studies and Psychology, Sociology and Criminal Justice, which will occupy the vacated space in the Biggs Engineering Building. The University will construct a new building to house the administrative staff in the Office of Information Technology and relocate the recently accredited English Language Programs to the space vacated by the technological studies department.