The Ohio State University Board of Trustees Master Planning and Facilities Committee met Thursday morning to discuss major project updates and design reviews, including a food production complex, an ambulatory center, a tennis facility and developments to the arts district on campus.
The proposed Controlled Environment Food Production Complex has been marked as behind on completion and approaching the budget limit, according to the meeting materials. The complex is intended for Waterman Farms on West Campus as an agricultural and natural resources lab.
“The project had been under review for several months because of working with the end users and the leadership in the college,” Mark Conselyea, associate vice president for Facilities Operations and Development at Ohio State, said. “The project team has conducted a prioritization exercise to align the program with the target budget.”
Based on this progress, the architect and the construction manager will continue to work to revive the project, Conselyea said.
This revision includes updates to the program design, and it is anticipated to be brought back to the board in November for presentation, which will result in a new budget and new timeline for completion.
Another project reviewed at the meeting was an ambulatory center, an extension of the Wexner Medical Center, to be constructed on Hamilton Road as well as at two other sites in Ohio. This project is currently in design and development stages for a medical office building, an ambulatory surgical center and a patient tower to be constructed.
Keith Myers, vice president of planning, architecture and real estate at Ohio State, said the building has been approved as following university architectural guidelines, with the design incorporating several elements that reflect buildings currently on campus so passersby will recognize immediately its connection to Ohio State.
The building will also be organized around a central courtyard with outdoor spaces and gardens available for hospital faculty, staff, patients and their families, according to public documents presented at the meeting.
The Ty Tucker Tennis Center, a new facility for men’s and women’s tennis, also received construction approval from the Board. With a budget of $23 million, the new home for Ohio State tennis should start construction in late fall 2019 and be completed by November 2020, according to the meeting materials.
With an anticipated six interior tennis courts, coaches’ offices, locker rooms and training rooms, the tennis center was funded completely by fundraising opportunities.
Finally, University Executive Vice President Bruce McPheron spoke on renderings for the new arts district set to be built predominantly by the Oval at 15th Avenue and High Street. There are multiple plans in place for this part of campus, including a new 500-seat academic theater — which the Board called an an improvement from the current theater located in Drake Performance and Event Center — a black box studio and practice space to fit the entire orchestra.
“What we’ve known all along that getting to these sorts of points is a lot of discussion and compromise,” McPheron said. “What we have not compromised is our commitment to the performing and visual arts as representative of what this college and university is all about. To walk onto campus from High Street, and the first thing that you encounter is the part of our intellect that lifts the human mind and soul really feels like the right message.”
He added that with 15 academic colleges on campus, the arts district will remind people on campus that “first and foremost, we’re humans and we’re inspired,” he said. This is the message he wants the district to send to people who visit the campus.
“I look forward to moving us forward on this and really seeing what is the culmination of years of planning with the School of Music — it’s close to a decade actually — to bring this forward, I think is a really important step to the university,” McPheron said.