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The idea for establishing an institution for higher learning in Erie County originated with the Sandusky Chamber of Commerce Education Committee and the Exchange Club of Sandusky in the early 1960s. To bring the concept to fruition, the Ohio Board of Regents, which serves as the Ohio Department of Education, determined in 1965 that a university branch campus in Erie County would cost about 2.4 million, with 25 percent of the cost ($600,000) raised locally.

Bowling Green State University was chosen to administrate the local branch as the university was already operating an Academic Center in Sandusky High School.

In September 1968, just over a year after the initial ground breaking and a little more than a year and a half from the beginning of the fund raising campaign, BGSU Firelands opened its doors to nearly 600 students.

Photo for BGSU Firelands/McBride Arboretum/Mucci Farms
In 1988, construction and planting began for the James H. McBride Arboretum, a more than 20 acre site of trees, shrubs, plant collections, ponds, wetlands, walking paths, and open green space located behind the West Building on the campus. Managed by Erie MetroParks, the arboretum was named for the school's first dean, Dr. James H. McBride.
Photo for BGSU Firelands/McBride Arboretum/Mucci Farms
A 216.5-acre tract of land located on the western edge of Huron bordered by Rye Beach, Boos and Bogart Roads was chosen as the site for the campus. It was purchased in June 1966 and construction began on the 2 building school in 1967. In 1998 BGSU Firelands began exploring the feasibility of adding a new student technology building to the campus. Mr. George Mayer, former District President of KeyBank and Huron resident, served as general campaign chair. By the year 2000, over $2.5 million had been raised and the project was renamed the Cedar Point Center at Firelands College, thanks to a leadership gift of $1 million from Cedar Point. Construction was completed in the fall of 2003.
Photo for BGSU Firelands/McBride Arboretum/Mucci Farms
Mucci Farms, a greenhouse grower based in Ontario, Canada, bought 75 acres of land from BGSU Firelands adjacent to the south edge of the campus. Construction began on the first of three 25-acre greenhouses in 2017. The company grows three types of non-GMO tomatoes for wholesale distribution at its Huron facility. Mucci has invested $100 million in the greenhouses, which grows, weighs and packages over 30 billion tomatoes each year.
Photo for BGSU Firelands/McBride Arboretum/Mucci Farms
The Huron Corporate Park, across from BGSU Firelands, has several businesses, including Ohio Patient’s Choice, a medical marijuana grower; Humanetics, a manufacturer of crash test dummies; Vacationland Federal Credit Union; n2y, developers of special education software, curriculum and learning tools; and Breckinridge Packaging, manufacturers of paper products for restaurants..

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