Construction of the Housing Development Project, pictured here from the roof of Scott Quad, is one of many sites under construction this fall. Motorists are urged to use caution and follow the posted detours.
Photographer: Todd Anderson/Ohio University
The northern portion of Park Place near Alden Library is closed to traffic for utility tunnel repairs. Motorists are being detoured along the southern portion of Park Place past Baker University Center and onto South Court Street.
Photographer: Gretchen Gregory/Ohio University
This sign marks the detour route along Park Place.
Photographer: Gretchen Gregory/Ohio University
Aug 14, 2014
By Gretchen Gregory
Several construction projects which started this summer have been completed, but others will continue well into fall semester after students return. Motorists should use caution when navigating campus and be sure to follow posted detour signs to help ensure a smooth traffic pattern.
When students return to campus this year, they’ll see that Mulberry Street is closed to both motorists and pedestrian traffic as improvements to the utility tunnel are made. The northern part of Park Place in front of Alden Library also has a utility tunnel under construction and is closed to motorists.
Park Place detour
Traffic in front of Alden Library is being detoured to the southern section of Park Place in front of Gordy Hall, continuing in front of Baker University Center and South Court Street. This project is expected to be completed in December.
South Green Drive extension
A new roadway extension project that connects South Green Drive to Mill Street on the northeast end of campus near the University’s recreation fields started on July 28 and will tentatively be completed in late December.
The access road from Mill Street to Stimson Avenue beside Mill Street Apartments is closed to through traffic, which is being detoured via Elliott Street. Access to the Mill Street Apartments parking lot is being maintained, but no through traffic is permitted.
“Motorists should avoid the intersection at the end of the existing South Green Drive and the New Life Assembly Church located adjacent to River Park Towers,” said Richard Shultz, interim associate vice president for architecture, design and construction at Ohio University.
Summer construction has included a complex array of work that consists of multiple road closures, rerouting traffic and electrical outages.
“Campuses go through periods every 10 to 15 years when there is a high level of construction,” added Shultz. “The growth period we have entered has a balance of new construction and major building renovations according to the six-year capital improvement plan. I think this construction period is more noticeable because of the necessary improvements and expansion to the University’s infrastructure system.”
Significant construction projects taking place on campus include the following:
Housing Development: Construction started more than a year and half ago on the five-building complex on the former site of Wolfe Street Apartments and its adjacent lots. The complex will include four residence halls and a learning commons, and is scheduled to open in fall 2015. There have been various one-lane road closures near South Green Drive and Race Street to accommodate construction.
"There could be an occasional street shut down, but the majority of the utility infrastructure was installed this summer with planned scheduled street closures,” Shultz said.
Tupper Hall: Construction on this year-long project on the east side of College Green started in spring. The building has been vacant for more than 10 years and is being renovated as a classroom building with a new elevator and new utility systems. The building’s window air conditioners are being removed with the addition of central air. A section of University Terrace and East Union Street at Jeff Hill was closed this summer while chilled water lines were extended to the building. University Terrace from East Union to the northern part of Ellis Hall also was closed, but reopened Friday, Aug. 15.
Lindley Hall: Construction on this project on the east side of College Green started in spring and is expected to take one year. Renovations are being made to the building’s system infrastructure, including heating and air conditioning, fire alarm, sprinkler and electrical systems. The building also is receiving extensive ADA upgrades, including floor-by-floor connecting corridors to two new elevators. All office doors also have been widened to ADA standards. When completed in spring 2015, the swing-space building will house offices and classrooms.
Schoonover Center for Communication: The first phase of the project was completed in fall 2013. Phase II of the project is underway, although there’s minimal interruption to motorists since construction is located inside the building.
Walter Fieldhouse: Construction of the 89,000 square-foot Walter Fieldhouse that will house recreation and sports classes, practice space for athletics and the Marching 110, ROTC training and Student Affairs activities, was completed in June. The indoor multipurpose facility includes a full turf football practice field, four-lane track, long jump and pole vaulting pit for track, as well as storage facilities and support amenities, including administration offices, equipment room, and bathroom facilities.
College Green: Work on buildings located on the College Green includes roof replacement to Temple-Blackburn Memorial Auditorium, Chubb Hall, and Scripps Hall, which will continue well into the fall semester. Phased elevator upgrades within Alden Library and Ellis Hall are underway, as well as an air handler replacement in Alden Library.
Design work is complete for the replacement of the brick walkway leading from Class Gateway to Cutler Hall, and for the Class Gateway renovation project. Work schedules for both projects are under review by the OHIO Architecture, Design and Construction office because of unanticipated delays in the contracting process.
In summer 2015, additional improvements to the College Green will be made, including cleaning the Alumni Gate at the corner of Union and Court Street, and the nearby Civil War monument.
Throughout construction, the University has worked with the city of Athens and Event Services to ensure projects are conducted in the most efficient manner possible, with minimal disruption to events and activities taking place.
The city reviews the design and construction documents for city fire protection, including fire suppression systems inside the buildings, and the city provides direction connecting to city water, sanitary and storm water systems.
“The city of Athens and the University have always been strong partners in the development of University construction projects,” Shultz said. “While the city was involved with the design and construction process when the University developed a new roadway system, OHIO Facilities Management and Risk Management also spent a lot of time coordinating emergency generators to use as backup power to the city’s sanitary sewer system in the event of a power outage.”
View Ohio University Summer 2014 Construction and Closures in a larger map
About the Capital Improvement Plan
Construction is underway as part of a six-year, $970 million capital improvement plan which was approved in November 2013 and designed to invest in OHIO’s future. Major construction projects include the Housing Development Plan, a new interdisciplinary science facility, energy infrastructure renewal and several major renovations to existing buildings.
Investment towards classrooms, safety, accessibility, technology and deferred maintenance projects which target reduction of the institution’s backlog also are part of the plan. The investments are made possible through the use of state capital appropriations, gifts, grants, internal working capital and debt issuances.
"It is exciting to see the capital improvement plan being realized in many different ways, from community members who are employed by the projects, to maintenance and stewardship of our inherited beautiful place, to transformed spaces for our students, faculty, staff, and community,” said Shawna Bolin, director of University planning and space management at OHIO.