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The first building constructed on the East Central College campus almost 40 years ago took center stage Sunday afternoon as the college dedicated the recently renovated facility in honor of the late George H. Buescher.


Buescher, a man instrumental in the establishment of the college and the first president of the board of trustees, was remembered during a public ceremony in front of the building that now bears his name.  Over 250 people attended the ceremony which was followed by a reception and tours of the facility.


Dr. Don Shook, ECC’s founding president, was the keynote speaker for the dedication ceremony.  “George Buescher’s contributions to the college before it was established were just as significant as what he did for East Central during his time as a trustee,” noted Shook.  “The work done by George and others before the April 1968 vote was crucial to the college being here today.” 


“His many years of experience on the Washington school board were most helpful, and he provided true leadership in keeping the individual board members working together as a team when faced with making so many decisions,” Shook said.  Shook also stated that Buescher was a good board president because he had a good board of trustees.  “Those men certainly contributed to George being honored today.” 


“Because he was a well-known businessman in this area with unique personal qualities he was very helpful to me in getting to know the people and the community," Shook noted.  "When faced with a problem he would always make the extra effort to resolve the situation.”  


Also participating in the ceremony were Jim Perry, current president of the ECC board of trustees; Dr. Ed Jackson, college president; and Dr. Jon Bauer, ECC vice president of finance and administration.  Members of Union American Legion Post 297 presented the flag to begin the event.


Among those on hand for the ceremony were Dr. Dale Gibson, former ECC president; Fred Davis, who twice served as interim college president; past and present college trustees; area city and county officials; ECC Foundation board members; faculty; staff and students.


Participating in the unveiling of the plaque that will be displayed in the lobby of Buescher Hall were two charter members of the ECC board:  Bob Hansen and Don Means.  Also taking part in the unveiling were Mary Brunjes and Dave Buescher, children of George Buescher.   


The Washington businessman was a charter member of the board and served as board president for 12 years. Buescher was co-chairman of the survey committee that prepared the report submitted to the state for authorization to hold an election on formation of the college.  He then served as co-chairman of the steering committee that promoted successful passage of the proposal submitted to voters in April of 1968.


The Lawrence Group served as architects for the renovation project.  The construction phase of the renovation was completed by K&S Associates at a cost of approximately $9.9 million. The renovation was completed this July and expanded the facility to 61,166 square-feet.  


Funding for the renovation came from proceeds remaining from the Prop RN bond issue approved by district voters in August of 2006, unrestricted fund balances, and funds earmarked for campus improvement.


The dedication also marked the first performance of Flight of the Falcon, a piece commissioned by East Central earlier this year.  The song was composed by Ryan Woodhouse, a doctoral student at the University of Kansas, and was performed by the ECC Concert Band under the direction of Aaron Bounds.


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