YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — Youngstown State University celebrated one man’s long-term dream to create an “innovation park” with a ceremony on Saturday.

Warren “Bud” Williamson III was a former chairman of WKBN Broadcasting.

In August 2022, the Williamson family donated a large space from their Canfield farm to Youngstown State University.

Bud Williamson’s son, Warren Williamson IV, said his late father wanted to help kids of all ages explore the sciences. Now, 165 acres of Bud’s 243-acre farm on Tippecanoe Road will help YSU do just that.

“Open space is very hard to find,” Warren said. “To preserve this open space in perpetuity for science minded projects — we just couldn’t be happier to be able to be a part of that.”

Mechanical engineering professor Hazel Marie was named the director of the Williamson Innovation Park at Saturday’s celebration.

“This will be a place that we can put Bud’s dream into action, where he saw it as a place where that K – 12 community gets introduced to the love of science,” Marie said.

There are wetlands and a pond for environmental science studies, a runway for remote-controlled planes, and plenty of space for YSU’s engineering competitions and off-roading team.

Academic programs starting in kindergarten will use the space as well.

Warren said it’s a dream come true to see his father’s decades-old dream come to life.

“My dad would be very proud. This was this was his vision to see this happen,” Warren said. “I wish he was here.”

Williamsons also helped establish a $3 million gift to maintain the property and its programs.