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Cooper Roberts Simonsen
The Haven J. and Bonnie Rae Barlow Manufacturing Technology Building, shown in rendering, was in works for more than 11 years.

KAYSVILLE — Both the ground and bread were broken Thursday to celebrate two new projects at the Davis Applied Technology College, one a long-awaited educational building and the other a place for students to pursue their culinary dreams.

"This has been more than a dream," Haven J. Barlow, primary donor for the Haven J. and Bonnie Rae Barlow Manufacturing Technology Building, said during a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday. The building has been in the works for more than 11 years and finally won approval of legislators during this year's session.

The DATC's culinary program celebrated the opening of a new addition in the newly named Richard C. Bowman Culinary Arts wing of the main building on campus.

A donation of $120,000 from Bowman — a well-known community partner in northern Davis County — made it possible to remodel 1,400 square feet containing the kitchen, culinary program classroom and the cafeteria, as well as provide additional student gathering space. New equipment was also installed, enabling students to be more competitive in the work force, DATC President Michael J. Bouwhuis said. Overall, the culinary arts wing was a $750,000 project and it will increase the scope of the program by 50 percent.

Lawmakers, local officials and others who attended the festivities were treated to lunch prepared by students in the new digs.

The Barlow family has given more than $1 million to the DATC over the years, not including the $600,000 donation announced Thursday.

"Without his commitment, this building would not be a reality," Bouwhuis said. The 65,000-square-foot "high-tech cornerstone for campus" will bring together programs that are currently scattered across the campus. The project is on a design-build delivery plan, allowing for quick and efficient construction and a February 2009 scheduled opening.

"I'm a believer in training people for better jobs," Barlow said. "I don't think there's a more noble cause."

He said giving to such a project was easy knowing the ATC programs in Utah benefit the communities they serve. The $14 million Barlow Manufacturing Building will house the drafting, machining, diesel mechanics, electronics and industrial maintenance programs, and will increase the capacity for faculty and staff to train workers in those fields.

"If we in this state do not provide the facilities to train our people, we aren't going to get the employers to come to the state of Utah," he said. "I can't think of a better thing to use your resources for than to help people get better jobs."

The DATC is one of nine applied technology campuses in the state, all of which offer open-entry, open-exit career and technical education that is driven by economic demands.

E-mail: wleonard@desnews.com