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Businesses backing COSI’s vision and levy

Toledo, August 15, 2008: New faces, new energy, and a new vision for the future of Northwest Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry (COSI) have arrived—individuals from prominent area businesses and industries have formed the Businesses for COSI committee to infuse a renewed spirit into COSI and encourage citizens to join them in support of this issue.

Initial members of the committee include Steve Krull, Senior Vice-President, Owens Corning; Ron Unnerstall, Business Unit Leader, BP-Husky Refining LLC; Carol Campbell, Vice-President Human Resources, First Solar; and Xunming Deng, CEO, Xunlight Corporation.

These four businesses are among many who have pledged to fund COSI exhibits that reflect the corporations’ commitment to science, technology and education.

“This is a crucial time in the history of our region and the country to encourage opportunities to present science and technology to our young people in educational, meaningful ways,” said First Solar’s Campbell. “Everyone can see how science and technology is more important to us now than ever before. A small amount of support from a progressive community can have a positive, lasting impact.”

COSI’s vision for itself and how the community approaches science in the years to come is simple: bring to the forefront real-world examples of local expertise making a difference in our backyards and across the globe.

“By creating partnerships and exhibits with the local businesses that have influence throughout the world, young people can see first-hand how they can put their own stamp on history,” said Jim Hoffman, current COSI Board of Trustees member and President of the Northwest Ohio District of KeyBank. “We talk a lot about creating an environment that encourages our young people to stay here in Toledo and Lucas County. By making these local businesses accessible and understandable, we can take huge steps toward doing exactly that. It’s all part of moving forward, not backward.”

“Having a world-class science center like COSI in Toledo helps to build a community where people love to live, work and raise families,” Owens Corning’s Krull said. “COSI can help Toledo-area companies attract and retain top talent to Northwest Ohio.  In addition, for our kids to succeed in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, they need to have a solid grounding in the sciences.  COSI can inspire a passion for science and innovation that will last a lifetime.”

The COSI Board of Trustees has requested the Lucas County Commissioners certify a levy request for the science center to the Lucas County November General Election ballot. 

The trustees request is for a five-year, one-sixth (.17) mill property tax levy. It will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $5.21 per year. The commissioners will vote to approve or reject that request on Tuesday, Aug. 19. If the levy goes to the ballot and is approved, COSI will be able to re-open in fall 2009.

COSI Toledo is a science center delivering science- and technology-based programming to youth and their families throughout Lucas County. This independent, not-for-profit organization is located in downtown Toledo and has served more than three million visitors from its opening, March 1997, through December 2007, when it was forced to close its doors.

In the interim, COSI has continued to operate its popular outreach programs, including classroom workshops, full-day science festivals, family science nights and distance learning sessions via interactive video conferencing.





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