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Expansion project causes more campus closures, inconveniences for students

Cait Wasmundt / Lantern photographer

Several areas around campus will be under construction throughout spring and summer and even longer, as part of President E. Gordon Gee’s plan to constantly improve and expand Ohio State’s campus.

As part of the William Hall Complex Expansion project, Worthington Street will be closed until May 2 between 10th and 11th avenues, although traffic will be maintained in and out of the 11th Avenue parking garage.

Pedestrians are still able to pass through the area between 10th and 11th avenues on the east side of the building, Ruth Miller, project manager of the construction on Worthington, said in a Monday email.

“An underground electrical feed was installed at the beginning of the project so that the unsightly overhead power lines around the building site could be removed,” Miller said. “The west side of Worthington will receive a new sidewalk, trees and street lighting along the building façade.”

Ken Wayman, senior director of design and construction for OSU’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD), said the project will result in 533 beds in a “brand new residence hall” that will house six students per individual suite.

Residents of Buckeye Village might also be impacted by the construction of several dumpster pads as part of the Street and Bridge Maintenance Project.

According to the FOD website, Defiance Drive will be restricted to one-way, one-lane traffic from Fred Taylor Drive to Ackerman Road until midsummer.

Kevin Koesters, project manager of the operation, said there are small, individual containers used for trash collection in the area in lieu of large dumpsters. These “toters” are enclosed in a brick wall structure, “but many of these are collapsing,” Koesters wrote in an email Monday.

The project will replace the brick enclosure with a fenced enclosure and exchange the small toters for 10 cubic yard dumpsters, Koesters said.

“The elimination of toters will decrease work required by Buckeye Village staff with the elimination of locating these from the enclosure to the roadway for pick-up,” Koesters said.

Plumb Hall, located at 2027 Coffey Rd., is undergoing a roof replacement that will take about 120 days to complete, according to the FOD website.

In order to minimize disruptions for building occupants, the roofing will be removed between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m., the website said. New roofing will then be installed between 7 a.m. and 5 p.m. and the project will be completed by the end of July.

Bill Holtz, project manager, said access to the sidewalk on the east side of the building is restricted for upper roof work.

The contractor has a temporary fence set up on the northwest corner of the building for lay-down space, but there is enough room for a vehicle to pass. Holtz said this was “reviewed with Transportation and Parking before [it] was confirmed.”

Ann Ottobre, a research and instructional associate who works in Plumb Hall Monday through Friday, said she is very happy about the construction because there were ongoing problems and structural issues associated with leaks from the ceiling.

“I feel that any inconveniences from the equipment and maybe the noise are temporary, and our gains from the project being completed really outweigh any inconveniences,” Ottobre said.

Holtz agreed.

“The current occupants of the building can look forward to a new roof that will meet their needs for the anticipated life of this building,” he said.

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