4/2/2002 Press Release
Ozarka Donates Utopia Bottling Facility to
Utopia High School
Superintendent Shafer praises donation as phenomenal
April 2, 2002 – Utopia, TX - The Utopia bottled water facility closed its doors
in May 2001, but the building will continue to serve a purpose. In an effort to
contribute to the Utopia community, Ozarka has donated the building to Utopia
“The School Board has asked that a Facilities Committee be put together to look
at all options for the building’s use, but our greatest need at the school
district is a new gym,” said Utopia District Superintendent Dr. Patricia Shafer.
“Basketball is our most popular sport in Utopia and we have a large following
for the games. Our current gym was built in 1954 and has limited seating -
Ozarka is extremely generous to offer this building to our school. Their gift
will help us realize our dream of a new gym.”
The bottling facility ended production in May. All Utopia plant employees were
offered other opportunities with Perrier/Ozarka, and those who could not accept
new positions were offered other compensation and job placement assistance. 20
employees at the Utopia bottling facility were affected by the plant closure.
“While closing any business is a difficult experience, we are genuinely pleased
to be able to give this building to Utopia High School,” said Shannon Jones,
Plant Manager for the Utopia facility.
The Utopia plant was originally constructed in 1985 and has produced large bulk
Utopia water products for sixteen years. “The community and the school are very
appreciative of Ozarka Spring Water donating this very generous gift. There are
few districts who have this type of thing done for them – it’s pretty phenomenal
to receive this,” said Dr. Shafer.
“We are doing everything we can to help the community and we are grateful to the
people of Utopia for a wonderful business partnership these past sixteen years,”
said Mr. Jones.
The title transfer of the Utopia building to the school district is to take
place the week of April 1, 2002.