A large group of well-wishers from the college and community helped welcome Ripon College’s newest endeavor to downtown Ripon last week Friday night: 314, a multi-use project space at 314 Watson St.

   The evening included brief talks by several individuals, including Ripon Area Fire District Deputy Chief Mark Sabel, art professor Rafael Salas and photographer Jim Koepnick. An exhibit of Koepnick’s photography of the December 2013 fire opened that evening, as the space held its grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

   After the formal celebration, visitors viewed Koepnick’s framed photos, which are being auctioned off, with many people spilling out onto Watson Street itself — adjacent to where the fire occurred.

   Above right, assistant art professor Travis Nygard, second from left, reacts after snipping the ceremonial ribbon to open 314. Clapping are, from left, Tara Schultz, Ripon Area Fire District Deputy Chief Mark Sabel and assistant music professor John Hughes.

   Below right, Ripon College employee Kim Scanlon holds son Robbie Scanlon while viewing one of the best known images of the December 2013 fire that destroyed two downtown buildings.

See more photos from the event in the Sept. 10, 2015 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.