The Ohio State Board of Trustees Master Planning and Facilities committee met Thursday morning to further discuss plans for campus including Framework 2.0, the Covelli Multi-Sport Arena and the demolition of St. John Arena.
Of the ten major projects discussed — such as the Schottenstein expansion and the Ohio Stadium upgrades — only two were flagged to be watched closely in the event the projects go over budget or do not finish on deadline.
The $59 million renovation project to Pomerene and Oxley Halls is one of the projects that is having its budget watched. Phase one of the relocation of Cannon Drive, with a budget of $51.7 million, was also flagged to be watched for the potential of it not being completed on time.
Framework 2.0 is OSU’s planned redevelopment of campus through renovations, additions and demolition of buildings to create space. Now two years past its introduction, the plans for redevelopment have been completed and the committee voted, via voice vote, to send Framework 2.0 to the full board for full approval.
LuAnne Greene, president of Ayers Saint Gross, a planning and design firm from Maryland, opened the discussion on Framework 2.0 with a summary of what the goals are for the plan as well as conceptual design plans for the rerouting of many major roads on campus, such as Cannon Drive, and improving the connection of Kinnear Road, John H. Herrick Drive and Olentangy River Road. Greene also spoke on the project’s proposed theme of increasing the connections between North, South, East and West campus.
Citing how OSU has more capacity for new spaces than what the university currently defined as needed, Greene said she is excited to make these changes where its impacts will be noticed by future generations. By looking back at past generation’s work on campus, Greene said it is important that the changes in Framework 2.0 not only help the current campus, but the campus of the future.
“I think whenever we are working on long-range vision plans, you are so appreciative of past generations of investments,” Greene said. “We are really looking at generations of development capacity here. Not just ours, but the future. We always want to be looking out to the distance and making sure our near-term actions are aligned with that long-term vision.”
Greene also highlighted key components of most of the 10 projects spelled out in Framework 2.0 such as the changes to the academic-core area of campus. Some major changes include, but are not limited to, a new interdisciplinary research facility focused on life and health near Woody Hayes Drive, a new veterinary medicine facility for research and equine diagnostics near Vernon L. Tharp Street and enhancements to the Olentangy River Road corridor.
New athletic facilities
The committee also examined the schematic designs for the Covelli Multi-Sport Arena and Jenning’s Family Wrestling Practice Facility, which are being designed to enhance the student athlete experience while on campus, said Keith Myers, Associate Vice President, Planning and Real Estate of OSU’s Office of Administration and Planning.
These new buildings will be located at what is currently Buckeye Village, resulting in the loss of six family housing apartment buildings, or 18 percent of the units available. As for the current residents, the committee has been meeting with them monthly and they have been offered the option to stay at Buckeye Village in a new residence on the northern side of the complex, said Jay Kasey, Senior Vice President of OSU’s Office of Administration and Planning.
Concerns about the safety of the area during demolition and construction have been raised by residents of Buckeye Village as well as board members. Kasey said meetings with residents of Buckeye Village to inform them of the dangers — such as harmful dust particles in the air — have been helpful.
“We have our environmental health and safety people look at encapsulating any harmful materials during demolition and building meeting with (residents) monthly,” Kasey said. “We are pretty certain we can make this a safe environment.”
Construction on the project is set to begin in May.