The Ohio State Board of Trustees master planning and facilities committee voted Thursday to approve the budgets for a number of major campus construction projects including Mirror Lake, Postle Hall, the Cannon Drive relocation.

The committee approved a $2.4 million increase in the budget to redesign Mirror Lake.

This budget expansion allows for a number of safety features and a more natural appearance, Keith Myers, associate vice president of planning and real estate with the Office of Administration and Planning, said.

Myers said the proposed quick-drain feature is capable of draining the lake in approximately 60 minutes and that the aquatic bench will consist of at least 15 feet of dense aquatic plants between the path and the open water.

The Master Planning and Facilities Committee discusses the budget and design for future campus construction projects at a meeting in the Longaberger Alumni House this morning, June 8. Credit: Hailey Stangebye | Multimedia Editor

This plan creates a buffer of thick vegetation and also specifies that the water would gradually slope to a maximum depth of 4 feet, rather than an immediate drop-off, which was proposed with Mirror Lake’s original redesign plans in October 2016.  

This increase brings the total Mirror Lake project budget up to $8.4 million and construction is currently scheduled to last through July of 2018.

The committee also voted to approve a $13.3 million budget to complete the design and enable construction for a proposed redesign of Postle Hall, which hosts the school of dentistry.

“(The design) really compliments the street,” Myers said. “It makes that piece of Neil Avenue not look like it has a missing tooth and it really, sort of, re-emphasizes the idea … that Neil Avenue is the academic main street.”

The committee also voted to approve a $44.1 million dollar budget that will be allocated to construction for phase one of the Cannon Drive relocation.

The road is set to close for construction on Sept. 5, which is days away from football season kickoff. Though each phase of the project has a different estimated completion date, the relocation of Cannon Drive in its entirety will take at least three to four years to complete.

The Audit and Compliance Committee also met this morning to discuss, among other things, the relationship between university and affiliate organizations.

The committee voted to require that OSU have a greater degree of influence over affiliate organizations.

“The governance requirements, as set forth, requires that at least one university official be a member of each affiliate board… The university has a slightly different relationship with each affiliated entity but there is always a measure of oversight and some degree of control and influence,” Stacey Bennett, associate vice president and senior associate general counsel for the Office of Legal Affairs, said.

While the committee voted to tighten the reigns on most affiliate organizations, it also discussed allowing a greater degree of freedom for one organization: Pelotonia.

The Audit and Compliance Committee discusses the university’s relationship with affiliates at their meeting in the Longaberger Alumni House this morning, June 8. Credit: Hailey Stangebye | Multimedia Editor

“When it was established, it was established as a sub-affiliate of the Ohio State University Foundation … While that provided us with significant control over what Pelotonia was doing and how it was doing it …, it has also, somewhat limited Pelotonia’s growth,” Bennett said.

The committee continued its discussion of Pelotonia in executive session and, consequently, did not vote on the matter in the public meeting.

Finance Committee

The Board finance committee met Thursday to review OSU’s revenue streams and current spending on various projects. The Board is set up with multiple committees to jointly approve large projects and costs. The finance committee approved all aforementioned projects, but did decide to delay spending on wifi installation in Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein center as well as renovations to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center.

In addition, the committee approved the purchase of Indianola Middle School, located at 420 E. 19th Avenue, which is currently owned by Columbus Public Schools.

Myers said OSU does not yet have a specific purpose planned for the space, but instead this purchase was a strategic, most notably because of its proximity to campus. An exact price of the building has yet to be set as it is still awaiting appraisal.