Ohio State’s Board of Trustees discussed and voted to move forward with several large construction projects — such as the Cannon Drive relocation and development of a new hospital tower and ambulatory facility — in its Master Planning and Facilities Committee meeting Thursday.
Though the Cannon Drive construction is said to be done in an effort to prevent flooding near the medical center, Board members focused on what the final product could mean for the ever-growing university. Discussion on conceptual design ideas for what the Board hopes to be a distinguishable campus entranceway on Cannon Drive was prominent.
“This is our one chance … in what we establish for the university for a hundred years,”Board member Alex Fischer said. “It offers a significant piece of property as The Oval was that many years ago.”
To add to the potential aesthetics, Keith Myers, the associate vice president of planning and real estate, said there are design concepts in works for gate structures to be placed on Cannon.
Topic then turned to another large-scale endeavor: hospital tower and ambulatory care center construction.
The $70.8 million design phase should be completed in a little more than a year. The tower and care center will build up to 840 private-room beds and replace 400 beds in the aging Rhodes and Doan halls.
Private rooms will be larger in size compared to those in Rhodes and Doan halls, said Jay Kasey, senior vice president of administration and planning. The rooms will include space for family members to use, such as pull out beds. He said the square footage is comparable to rooms in the James Cancer and Solove Research Center rooms.
Private rooms in Doan and Rhodes halls are 232 net-square-feet. The rooms in the tower and ambulatory care center will be 272 net-square-feet, Kasey said, adding the size is a “modern standard.”
In addition to patient areas, operating rooms will differ from those in Rhodes and Doan halls, as well — between the two buildings, there are 27 total ORs needing replacement.
“We’re anticipating that we will be replacing them with up to 30 new ORs … around 700 net-square-feet,” he said.
The university does not plan to replace more than 30 because it’s “anticipating an ambulatory facility on West Campus that will also includes ORs,” Kasey said.
“Up to 50 to 60 percent of the OR work we do on the main campus is ambulatory ORs, is ambulatory surgery,” he said when detailing the numbers.
There is no estimate for how many ORs will be included in the ambulatory center, though it was noted they will be used for many different clinical services, rather than just specific areas of medicine.
“The expansion of ORs is not world-leading,” Kasey said, “but it will catch us up to where we need to be.”
Much of the hospital tower and ambulatory center development is planned west of and along Cannon Drive.
“It’s a remarkably significant thing because 10 years ago at this point, had we gone forward with the original plan for the James Cancer Hospital, there would be no relocated Cannon Drive,” said Board member Robert Schottenstein, “and we would have never had the chance to do this.
“Size-wise, this approximately 1.5 million square-foot building, potentially multiple towers, which is about 1.5 times the size of the new James Cancer Hospital, so this is a big building.”
The committee also voted to move forward with Postle Hall construction plans; approved $1.3 million to be put toward the design of a 22,500 square-foot expansion for Newton Hall; and $5.7 million to be given for vacating, enabling, site prep, utility work for Koffolt and Fontana labs — a project branded as the Advanced Materials Corridor Project.
The full Board will meet Friday to vote on the construction plans.