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Light visible at end of South Campus construction tunnel

Daniel Chi / Asst. photo editor

South Campus has been under construction longer than many students have been at Ohio State.

But there’s a light at the end of the tunnel.

Siebert, Smith and Steeb halls, which are being renovated as part of a more than $170 million project, are scheduled to reopen this fall.

The South High Rise Renovation project, which also included the creation of a joint Park-Stradley Hall, began in 2010.

Lindsay Komlanc, Administration and Planning spokeswoman said in an email the project includes installation of air-conditioning, upgrades to student rooms and new public lobbies and common spaces on each floor.

The curtain wall, exterior concrete panels and windows are nearly finished, but interior work, specifically on mechanical systems, student rooms and public spaces, still remains, she said of the South Campus residence halls. 

“It is a complete renovation and upgrade of the buildings,” Komlanc said. 

The aforementioned changes are intended to enhance the experience for students living in the residence halls, said Dave Isaacs, Student Life spokesman.

“We foresaw a period of increasing enrollment at Ohio State and the need to increase the number of students we could accommodate in our residence halls,” Isaacs said. “We are confidently working to meet the evolving needs of today’s students and improve the residential experience for students living on campus.” 

This summer, however, the focus will turn to North Campus, where renovation is scheduled to begin in July.

OSU’s Board of Trustees approved the $396 million North Residential District plan at its August meeting, and Komlanc said it will ultimately add about 3,200 beds.

Four buildings including Blackburn, Haverfield, Nosker and Scott halls are set to be torn down as part of the project.

Sam Taylor, a second-year in mechanical engineering, lived in Halloran House last year near the four buildings expected to be demolished. 

“I think it’s going to look cool when it’s all done, but it’s definitely going to cause some chaos in the meantime,” Taylor said.

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