Expanding opportunities: Laurel Oaks Career Campus highlights renovation/expansion with open house, welcomes Gov. DeWine


Laurel Oaks unveils expansion/renovation

By Tom Barr - tbarr@wnewsj.com



More views inside of and outside of the new facility.

More views inside of and outside of the new facility.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.


One of the many news classrooms, this one is for Digital Arts & Design.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.


More views inside of and outside of the new facility.


More views inside of and outside of the new facility.


Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt.


Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt.


Great Oaks Career Campuses President/CEO Harry Snyder.


Three students who are recent grads of Laurel Oaks shared stories of furthering their education/careers with Great Oak President/CEO Harry Snyder.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.


Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks to invited guests and open house attendees at Laurel Oaks Wednesday.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Great Oaks Board Chair Bill Ferguson present Gov. DeWine with a Great Oaks tie. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Among those cutting the ribbon are Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and wife Fran; Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt; Great Oaks Board of Directors Chair Bill Ferguson; and behind them is Great Oaks President/CEO Harry Snyder.


Tom Barr | News Journal

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.


Tom Barr | News Journal

WILMINGTON — Laurel Oaks Career Campus formally unveiled its gleaming, two-year $42 million renovation and expansion project with an open house, dedication and ribbon-cutting Wednesday afternoon.

Construction began two years ago on a project to renovate and expand the Wilmington campus — which primarily serves students in Clinton, Fayette and Highland counties — including a structure to connect the two main campus buildings, increasing safety and security while providing new space for students to work and study.

The building includes renovated career labs and classrooms for the school’s 17 career programs from Animal Science and Management to Dental Assisting to IT Academy to Welding; dedicated spaces for students to meet and collaborate on projects; an expanded commissary to serve the growing enrollment; and a new lab to house an HVAC program for high school students starting in fall 2022.

Several hundred people were present at the open house and including

Special guest Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and wife Fran attended the event.

“This is a great day,” said DeWine. “What an amazing building. It’s phenomenal.”

He said students can be excited about learning at Laurel Oaks and they have great opportunities at the facility, not only due to the physical offerings, but due to the quality of instruction and variety of opportunities.

“Great Oaks and Laurel Oaks have so many career paths,” DeWine said. He pointed out that he talked to several teachers and could see the knowledge and enthusiasm they possess.

He also pointed out that Ohio is #1 in the Midwest in many respects in the areas of gaining jobs and attracting new companies. “The future of this state is great,” he said.

Speakers included Great Oaks President/CEO Harry Snyder, Board Chair Bill Ferguson, and Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt.

Along with more typical career-technical programs such as welding, cosmetology, dental assisting, digital arts and design, and others, the campus also offers equine science and management as well as aviation maintenance.

Great Oaks Career Campuses celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2020 and the Great Oaks system students at four campuses (including Wilmington) and in 36 school districts. An estimated 40,000 high school graduates got their start at Great Oaks.

More views inside of and outside of the new facility.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0015-1.jpgMore views inside of and outside of the new facility.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0019-1.jpgOhio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.

One of the many news classrooms, this one is for Digital Arts & Design.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0027-1.jpgOne of the many news classrooms, this one is for Digital Arts & Design.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0037-1.jpgOhio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.

More views inside of and outside of the new facility.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0039-1.jpgMore views inside of and outside of the new facility.

More views inside of and outside of the new facility.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0042-1.jpgMore views inside of and outside of the new facility.

Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0046-1.jpgLaurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt.

Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0049-1.jpgLaurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt.

Great Oaks Career Campuses President/CEO Harry Snyder.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0054-1.jpgGreat Oaks Career Campuses President/CEO Harry Snyder.

Three students who are recent grads of Laurel Oaks shared stories of furthering their education/careers with Great Oak President/CEO Harry Snyder.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0064-1.jpgThree students who are recent grads of Laurel Oaks shared stories of furthering their education/careers with Great Oak President/CEO Harry Snyder.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0065-1.jpgOhio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks to invited guests and open house attendees at Laurel Oaks Wednesday.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0068-1.jpgOhio Gov. Mike DeWine speaks to invited guests and open house attendees at Laurel Oaks Wednesday. Tom Barr | News Journal

Great Oaks Board Chair Bill Ferguson present Gov. DeWine with a Great Oaks tie. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0084-1.jpgGreat Oaks Board Chair Bill Ferguson present Gov. DeWine with a Great Oaks tie. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event. Tom Barr | News Journal

Among those cutting the ribbon are Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and wife Fran; Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt; Great Oaks Board of Directors Chair Bill Ferguson; and behind them is Great Oaks President/CEO Harry Snyder.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0089-1.jpgAmong those cutting the ribbon are Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and wife Fran; Laurel Oaks Dean of Instruction Kevin Abt; Great Oaks Board of Directors Chair Bill Ferguson; and behind them is Great Oaks President/CEO Harry Snyder. Tom Barr | News Journal

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event.
https://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2021/09/web1_DSC_0071-1.jpgOhio Gov. Mike DeWine not only spoke to the crowd, he and wife Fran met many students, instructors, staff and local dignitaries at the event. Tom Barr | News Journal
Laurel Oaks unveils expansion/renovation

By Tom Barr

tbarr@wnewsj.com