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Board committee discusses University projects

An addition to the Jerome Schottenstein Center is expected to be completed sometime in October, according to a Board of Trustees meeting on Thursday.
Credit: Jack Westerheide | Managing Editor for Design

The Master Planning and Facilities committee convened on Thursday to take up discussion on some ongoing, as well as future, major projects being undertaken by Ohio State.

Every time the committee meets, they are presented a scorecard to keep them up to date on major projects, defined as projects costing over $20 million. Of note this Thursday was a minor delay and a project that is set to see its budget rise.

While not major considering the scope of the project, Lynn Readey, associate vice president of Facilities Operations and Development, informed the committee that the addition to the Schottenstein Center will face a delay.

“Work is proceeding but it looks like we’re gonna be a little late on delivery,” she said. “We’re probably looking at a 30-45 day delay in the schedule.”

With the minor delay, the project is expected to reach completion sometime in October.

Looking ahead to an exciting opportunity, but one that looks like it is about to have its price tag increase, the committee took time to discuss plans surrounding a controlled environment food production research complex. Essentially a greenhouse that will produce food while also allowing research into production of food.

The committee discussed on Thursday the almost certain reality that the expected budget will rise, but many members voiced their opinion that the unique opportunity at hand mandates adjusting the budget to make this building a reality.

“This is just an incredibly opportune chance for research,” Bruce McPheron, university provost, said. “There is no other university in the world that has this kind of resource.”

The committee wrapped up its time in public session by approving, via consent agenda, a number of items to move forward with.

Of note on the consent agenda was moving forward with designs for a Celeste Lab renovation, designs for an indoor tennis center in the athletics district — the team currently leases a facility on Henderson Road — and approval to enter into design and construction contracts for the new health services building at the corner of Neil and 11th avenues.

All items on the consent agenda will have to be approved by the full Board on Friday.

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