September 20, 2019

WEST CHESTER, Ohio - Growing enrollment comes with necessary growing pains at the Butler Tech Bioscience Center. A building expansion project is underway that will provide much-needed space. But adjustments include bumping the fall blood drive to pair of Bloodmobiles in the parking lot. Donors adapted by climbing aboard and filling the beds.

"They are super into it," said Principal Abbie Cook. "They love helping people."

"They're all going into healthcare. They take phlebotomy, some want to be nurses. We're preparing them for the next step. Hopefully donating becomes a habit for life. Laura does a great job of preparing them. It's a great way to give back."

"We only had 80 appointments to fill, and we filled them all," said faculty blood drive coordinator Laura Eby. "We usually do 125 to 136 at our max. We put 40 kids on a waiting list."

The Bioscience blood drive totaled 81 donors, including 45 first-time donors and 49 donations for 98 percent of goal. The Butler Tech Natural Science Center also hosted a fall blood on Friday and totaled 40 donors, 20 first-time donors and 33 donations for 132 percent of goal.

Community Blood Center blood drives at Butler Tech began in the D. Russell Lee building and have now expanded to all four campuses. Before health career students moved from D. Russell Lee to the new Bioscience Center in 2015, Butler Tech dominated the Community Blood Center High School Leadership grants, winning the top award for "Most Donors" three years in a row.

The separate blood drives make it more difficult for one campus to claim the Most Donor award.   But the Bioscience Center ranked fifth among CBC high schools in 2018-2019 with 261 donors.

In 2018-2019 the Bioscience Center, D. Russel Lee Building and Natural Science Center hosted nine blood drives, totaling 585 donors, including 191 first-time donors and 386 units collected.

The Bioscience Center expansion project began in May 2019 and should be completed by January 2020. It will add a science and health lab, work spaces and a special education resource lab.

Bioscience students are used to donating in the building's highest classroom with floor-to-ceiling windows and a commanding view of West Chester.  But they embraced the challenge of downsizing into Bloodmobiles.

Blood drive committee volunteer Arizona McCray checked-in students in the lobby before sending them outdoors to the Bloodmobiles. She kept a watchful eye on them when they returned from donating.

"I'm studying emergency medicine now and I want to be an emergency physician," said Arizona. "This gives me an opportunity to test my skills. I'm going all the way. I love helping people!"

Devika Khatiwada, who also wants to be a physician, chatted with fellow senior Pramila Subedi as she made her first lifetime donation. "I've always wanted to donate, it's been on my mind and today I finally got to," said Pramila.

Exercise Science student Hannah Guise was also inspired to make her first lifetime donation. "I donated stem cells to my brother when I was growing up," said Hannah. "So, giving back is important to me."