Ohio State’s Master Planning and Facilities Committee discussed the progression of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center in Thursday’s meeting. Credit: Ohio State Board of Trustees

The $155.9 million project will “create a collaborative campus for interprofessional education throughout the health sciences, including the Medicine, Optometry, Nursing, and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences,” according to Board materials. 

The construction of the center will include renovations to Hamilton Hall, located at the corner of 10th and Neil avenues, as well as construction of a new wing extending onto 10th Avenue. The new wing will form an enclosure to the space and create a quadrangle for student use as well as special events.

“The project will create new classrooms and administrative space for the College of Medicine, a vibrant place for all students and a vibrant space for all students of the health sciences colleges to gather,” Keith Myers, vice president of planning, architecture and real estate, said. 

Myers emphasized the importance of the historical architecture in the area and reassured the committee that the new project would not clash with the surrounding designs. 

“This area of Neil Avenue is likely the most architecturally significant area on campus. Neighboring buildings of the project include Pomerene, Oxley, Jennings and Mack Hall,” Myers said. 

This area is comprised of 20th century “collegiate gothic” architecture, and the future addition is designed to compliment the surrounding buildings, Myers said. 

The building will include a new forum comprised of a four-story atrium space that opens onto a terrace connected to the new quad. It will also offer a cafe, reading room, student lounges and new anatomy and optometry labs. 

The second and third floors will consist primarily of classrooms. The fourth floor, which will house the College of Medicine administration, will be in Hamilton Hall. 

Myers said the new wing will only be three stories to allow for more light to enter the large quad. 

“You lose sight of the size when you look at these photos, but that little oval in that quad is the size of a football field,” Robert Schottenstein, chairman of the committee, said. 

Discussion of the project sparked excitement among the committee and for many, the creation of the center was long overdue. 

“Anybody who’s toured these facilities, they’re anything short of an embarrassment for a flagship university,” Alexander Fischer, president and CEO of The Columbus Partnership, said. 

Schottenstein also emphasized the importance of this center not only for the Ohio State health sciences community, but for the university itself. 

“There’s enormous excitement, both within the medical center and also at the medical center board level, that we’re getting ready to put a shovel in the ground,” Schottenstein said. “It’s been a long time coming. This is an enormously important move for the university.”

Construction of the Interdisciplinary Health Sciences Center is set to begin October 2019 and the facility is set to open August 2023.