February 9, 2009
For Immediate Release
For additional information:
Barbara Kerr, Executive Director of
DEDICATED TO PRESERVING
AND EMBRACING THE FUTURE
On Wednesday, February 11, Clark College will honor two important figures in its history as it hosts a dedication – and rededication
VANCOUVER, Wash. – On Wednesday, February 11, Clark College will honor two important figures from its history. One name will be familiar; the other may be less well known. But both made valuable and lasting contributions to the college and community.
About the event
At 2 p.m. the college will rededicate the O’Connell Sports Center, named for legendary coach Claude “Skeet” O’Connell. The rededication follows a two-year renovation of the building.
With O’Connell scheduled to be in attendance, Clark College Interim Director of Athletics Dennis Huston, who was coached by O’Connell, will serve as emcee. Clark College President Robert K. Knight and Clark College Foundation President and CEO Lisa Gibert will welcome guests. Ron Keil, a student athlete who played on the Clark basketball team and graduated in 1952, will also speak.
Claude “Skeet” O’Connell arrived at Clark Junior College in 1946 and was its athletic director until his retirement in 1977. He coached both baseball and basketball and guided the 1956 baseball team to a state championship. He also coached golf from 1975 through his second “retirement” in 1987.
Following a ribbon-cutting to mark the rededication of the O’Connell Sports Center, the ceremonies will move indoors for the dedication of the Ted Farnsworth Conference Room. Cecil Miller, Class of 1955, will speak at the conference room dedication. Miller was a men’s basketball and track and field athlete at Clark College.
Clark College’s main campus is located at 1933 Fort Vancouver Way, Vancouver. The O’Connell Sports Center is located on the east side of Fort Vancouver Way, just north of McLoughlin Blvd. Maps and driving directions are available on the Clark Web site at www.clark.edu/maps.
About Ted Farnsworth
While Skeet O’Connell is a familiar name from Clark College history, Ted Farnsworth’s name may be less well known.
Farnsworth came to Clark College as a student in 1953. While he originally planned to pursue a business degree, he discovered a passion for journalism and photography. Farnsworth often traveled with Clark sports teams, serving as a photographer and providing information to The Columbian newspaper. Farnsworth went on to work for The Oregonian as a reporter for a short time. He then decided to pursue a career as a commercial fisherman where he also continued his photographic pursuits.
After retiring from fishing, Ted Farnsworth was a long-time volunteer for Clark’s athletic programs. He served as a manager for the basketball team. He was the scorekeeper for Coach O’Connell’s teams for 15 years and continued to serve in that role after O’Connell retired. In 1996, he helped launch the Penguin Athletic Club, which was formed to support Clark’s athletics programs.
Farnsworth served on the Clark College Alumni Association Board of Directors when the Clark College Chime Tower was built. Farnsworth also provided the fish for the alumni association’s annual Salmon Bake fundraiser. Colleagues remember that Farnsworth would catch up to 25 salmon the night before the bake then work side by side with members of Clark’s Culinary Arts Department to dress and bake the salmon.
In 1998, Ted Farnsworth received the Presidential Award for Excellence from the Clark College Foundation for his ongoing support of the college.
Lisa Gibert, Clark College Foundation President and CEO, said, “Ted Farnsworth died in 2004 but his generosity lives on through a bequest to the Foundation that will continue his support of the college for generations to come. We are proud that his legacy will live on through this beautiful conference room named in his honor.”
About the O’Connell Sports Center Renovation
The O’Connell Sports Center matching funds renovation project was submitted as part of the college’s 2005-07 capital budget request. The project design got underway in January 2006. Construction began in March 2007.
The project addressed inadequate space for physical education, faculty/staff offices, health instruction and athletics. During the renovation, circulation space was improved in the lobby and on the second floor. An elevator was added to provide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) access to the second floor. Title IX compliance was addressed by providing a team room for women athletes equal to the size of the men’s team room.
A total of approximately 3,200 square feet were renovated, and approximately 7,200 square feet were added. This included a classroom and a training room, two team rooms, several offices, a conference room (now the Ted Farnsworth Conference Room), utility/storage rooms, and enhanced public spaces. The new west entrance provides a welcoming environment and complements the look of other new buildings on Clark’s main campus.
The $2.6 million project was funded through a combination of state dollars, local capital and funding from the Clark College Foundation.
The project was designed LSW Architects. Par-Tech Construction, Inc. served as General Contractor. Mike Moran was the Clark College Construction Project Manager.
About Clark College
Clark College is the second largest community and technical college in Washington state, welcoming more than 13,000 students each quarter. The college, which was founded in 1933, is celebrating its 75th anniversary. Information about the college’s diamond jubilee is available at www.clark.edu/clark75. Information about the Clark College Foundation is available at www.clarkcollegefoundation.org.