Greeted by blaring pop music, caffeine-hyped student move-in helpers and resident advisors — at 8 a.m., no less — students moved into the newly completed North Residential District on Saturday.
The new set of residence halls and green space means a net increase of 3,200 beds compared to the old structures, said Office of Student Life spokesman Dave Isaacs. The eight new residence halls are complemented by a dining hall and a gym.
The total cost of the project, the construction of which started in summer 2013, was $370 million.
The increase in beds comes as, for the first time in Ohio State’s history, both first-year and second-year students are required to live on campus as part of the Second-year Transformational Experience program. There are now roughly 14,000 students living on campus, compared to 11,000 last year.
Despite the increase in students having to move-in, Isaacs said that the process went smoothly, minus a break that had to be taken on account of inclement weather.
Isaacs said that his favorite part of the newly completed project was fulfilling what students needed and wanted from the space. He said the university used research to find out how and where students liked to study and gather.
“So you can be studying, with your headphones on, by yourself, but in a room full of people, to keep the social aspect,” Isaacs said of the design of some of the study rooms.
Isaacs said that deliberateness in design was integral to the whole project.
“It was all designed to feel like a community,” Isaacs said, as opposed to just a grouping of buildings.
Jesse Wildman, a second-year in marketing, agreed.
“It’s like walking around a city, or a neighborhood,” said Wildman, who lived in Norton House residence hall last year and is now in Bowen House.
Brianna Wagner, a second-year in chemical engineering, said she liked her housing arrangement this year more than when she lived on South Campus as a first-year.
“I feel like everything (you need) is all here,” said Wagner, who lives in Blackburn House. “I also really like the green space.”
Isaacs said that 422 trees and over 4,000 shrubs helped contribute to a 157 percent increase in green space compared to before construction started.
Greeting some of the students Saturday were Charles and Joyce Busch, relatives of Jon Busch, the namesake of newly completed Busch House residence hall. Jon was an OSU alumnus who died in the Vietnam War. Busch House follows the university tradition of naming residence halls on North Campus after war veterans.
“I received an email about a year and a half ago … saying, ‘We would like to name a house after (Jon),’” said Charles Busch. “And I thought they were talking about a literal house.”
Instead, they got a seven-story residence hall that houses 465 students.
“We couldn’t imagine anything like this,” said Joyce Busch. “This is beautiful.”
The Busch family said they were grateful that the memory of Jon Busch would be preserved.
“This is vital,” said Joyce Busch. “Students will be going here … It kind of fills that void,” left by Jon Busch’s death.
The hall hosts pictures and medals from Jon Busch’s time in the military, which the family hoped would educate young people.
“All of the things displayed here would just be in someone’s attic otherwise,” said Charles Busch.