University officials said the more than $4 million Ohio Stadium construction project won’t force Spring Commencement out of the ‘Shoe.
Graduation is set to be held in the ‘Shoe, which is usual for Spring Commencement, but the format could be altered slightly to accommodate a construction project, said Don Patko, assistant athletics director of facilities management.
Plans for the $4.3 million construction project are already in place. The construction is a routine maintenance project that occurs every 10 to 15 years, and it involves recoating the concrete in order to waterproof it and repairing the wear and tear on the concrete and construction joints.
“The steps are to take off the old coating, sound the concrete, check your joints, and if there’s anything we need to fix, we will fix those items, and we will go on and put a new coating on top of that,” Patko said.
Sounding the concrete is a practice used to detect sub-surface cracks and delamination in a concrete structure such as a bridge. Striking the concrete will return a hollow sound if there is internal damage.
“(The project) is complex even though it’s a maintenance project,” Patko said. “You’ve got to have pretty skilled people that know how to put coatings down because it’s sensitive to temperature and different things like that.”
OSU spokeswoman Amy Murray confirmed the details of the project and that graduation would not be relocated.
“We don’t really expect (commencement) to look any different than in years past, although we will be accommodating larger groups,” Murray said.
Because of the Spring Semester construction, the Ohio State Spring Game is scheduled to be played at Paul Brown Stadium, home of the Cincinnati Bengals. While this is a break from Spring Game tradition, the construction isn’t expected to interfere with the coming 2013 or 2014 football season schedules.
The drive to Cincinnati is nearly two hours from OSU’s campus, and Patko said the university is not providing transportation to the game. Students planning on attending the April 13 game will need to find their own way to get there.
Some students have expressed discontent with the change of venue for the Spring Game. Matt Rehfus, a second-year in civil engineering, said the Spring Game being moved to Cincinnati would make it much less likely for him to attend, even though he has attended in the past.
“The Spring Game before was kind of just a convenience thing, and now that it’s in Cincinnati, it is decidedly inconvenient,” Rehfus said.
Sheila Maina, a third-year in human nutrition, said the lack of university-supplied transportation to the new venue for the Spring Game “sucks.”
Ticket prices for the game are set at $18 for club seats and $12 for general seating.
Bob Bedinghaus, director of business development for the Cincinnati Bengals, said the Spring Game will be a unique opportunity for Buckeye fans in Cincinnati and a chance to show off Paul Brown Stadium to a different group of fans.
“(The Spring Game) is not a giant revenue source, but it will showcase the facility in a non-traditional setting,” Bedinghaus said.
Bedinghaus also said that Bengals’ owner Mike Brown was very excited to have the Buckeyes play at Paul Brown.
An earlier version of this article said the construction plan involves relocating the concrete, when in fact the plan involves recoating the concrete.