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Which areas on campus will experience new construction?
- Phase 1, which began in 2013, include building four new residence halls on the former site of Wolfe Street Apartments and adjacent lots. Those buildings, with a total of about 900 beds, are expected to open in fall 2015. Each building will accommodate approximately 225 students arranged in floor section communities of about 32 students each.
- Phase 2, which includes construction of an additional four new residence halls totaling approximately 640 beds adjacent to the Front Four residence halls on South Green. Their design will create new residential courtyard spaces between the new halls and the Front Four. This phase also removes sections of the patio and parking structures between the Front Four buildings to allow pedestrian paths to connect the courtyards to newly expanded recreation fields behind the South Green along the Hocking River.
- Phase 3 includes construction of two more residence halls totaling approximately 520 beds on the site of the current Morton Hall parking lot and east of Adams Hall.
Are there any plans to increase the number of residence halls (i.e. new buildings)?
The total number of residence halls on campus will decrease with the implementation of the Housing Development Plan from 42 to approximately 37 halls. However, the recommendation from the Residential Housing Advisory Committee includes the construction of four new residence halls to replace several smaller facilities to more efficient and cost effective construction.
How will the proposal of new construction (semi-suites) and renovation impact housing rates?
Currently the cost to live in semi-suites (Adams and Bromley) and renovated halls is higher than living in a non-renovated, traditional-style hall. New and renovated housing will continue to cost more as it comes online during the Housing Development Plan.
How will Ohio University pay for the project? Via issuance of public bonds or will funding come from within the University?
The Residential Housing Advisory Committee proposed to finance the Housing Development Plan through a combination of housing reserves and bonds. Final financing options and amounts are still under review, and we anticipate making a recommendation at the April meeting of the Board of Trustees. In addition, two bonds will retire in the next 5 years: New South (2012) with a yearly payment of approximately $2.2M and Bromley (2016) with a yearly payment of approximately $700,000.
What is the primary goal of this project?
The primary goal of the Housing Development Plan is to guide the planning for Ohio University in providing quality and affordable housing that supports the 1st & 2nd year student experience, the University enrollment plan, and recruitment and retention goals.
Will there be an increase in the number of semi-suite options available to students?
Yes. The Housing Development Plan recommends an increase in the number of semi-suites on campus. Currently the housing stock at Ohio University is 90% traditional rooms and 10% semi-suites. Through new construction, the mix will change to 65% traditional rooms and 35% semi-suites.
How long will it take for Ohio University to complete the housing project?
The timeline for the construction, renovation, and demolition of residence halls is projected to be completed in three phases over the next 10 years. The first new residence hall is slated to open Fall Semester 2015.
What changes can students expect at the conclusion of the project?
In the next 10 years students can expect to see the construction of new semi-suite style residential facilities and the renovation of several residence halls on the East Green. The overall plan will be comprehensive in nature, and will include the development of recreational and green spaces.
How will the University manage the closing of residence halls during project construction?
Throughout the Housing Development Plan the occupancy for on-campus housing will remain at approximately 8,000 beds. The back South residence halls will gradually close as each new residence hall opens to replace the older residence halls.
What technology will be integrated into the new and renovated residence halls?
Each new and renovated hall will have interior and exterior electronic access, wireless internet, cable TV, and Ethernet. As we move forward with the Housing Development Plan, the Concept Development Team will identify the technological needs of each area based on student needs, Learning Communities, and how different spaces could be used within the residence halls.
Will all of the residence halls on South Green still look identical post-renovation?
The new residence halls will have the Georgian red brick architecture that defines our buildings on campus. Each new residence hall will be larger in size and have a unique character. As the design and development process continues, a more detailed definition will be provided.
Will first-years students be able to live in the newly renovated residence halls?
Semi-suite style rooms planned as a part of the new construction will initially be geared toward upperclass students. As the plan continues, building occupancy will continue to be reviewed.
Will the new construction have an impact on the residency requirement for first and second year students?
No. Ohio University will continue to require students to live two full years on-campus post high school graduation. Allowable exemptions will continue to be considered. Limited availability for juniors, seniors, and graduate students will continue.
What services and/or amenities will be provided in the new buildings?
The new residence halls will offer semi-suite rooms with a shared bathroom. Each hall will have study and social lounges for students, as well as a larger area for programming. Wireless internet, cable TV, and laundry areas will also be provided to students in each residence hall.
Will renovations of existing halls continue?
Yes. The Housing Development Plan includes the continued renovation of halls on the East Green over the next 10 years.
What will the final capacity be for on-campus housing after the new construction and will it accommodate the projected growth in enrollment?
The Residential Housing Advisory Committee has recommended that Ohio University maintain an on-campus occupancy of approximately 8,000 students. All aspects of the Strategic Enrollment Management Plan, in particular the projected enrollment growth, were discussed and have been taken into consideration in the development of the Housing Development Plan and will be monitored throughout the implementation of the plan.
How much of campus will be impacted by the Housing Development Plan?
The primary area of campus that will be impacted by the recommendations of the Housing Development Plan is the back 15 buildings of South Green. These buildings will be torn down over the next 10 years and replaced by new buildings, recreation fields, and an overall enhanced master plan of the green. New halls will also be constructed near Adams Hall. South Green will have a different look upon completion of the Housing Development Plan. Renovations will continue on East Green over the next 10 years as well. Approximately 61% of the total beds (new and renovated) will be impacted at the end of the Housing Development Plan.
Who will implement the Housing Development Plan?
The Residential Housing Advisory Committee has recommended that Ohio University implement and manage this project. While discussion of utilizing a Public-Private Partnership occurred, the Committee decided that University implementation and management provided a greater sense of control and allowed for more affordable housing for students.
How will the Housing Development Plan initiatives impact services?
The current level of services offered in our residence halls will be maintained and will continue to be provided by Ohio University personnel. This includes in-hall staffing as well as custodial, maintenance, and grounds staffing.
What impact will the Housing Development Plan have on the Athens community?
The Housing Development Plan should have little impact on the Athens community. In discussions with city officials and the neighborhood associations, one concern was increasing the number of students who would need to find off-campus housing. The University will continue to maintain the 2-year residency requirement, post high school graduation, which will maintain the number of students living in off-campus areas. In addition, peaks in housing needs for upperclass students will be supported by the University Courtyard Apartments.
Are green spaces going to be incorporated into the new construction plan?
The Housing Development Plan takes a comprehensive approach in building new and renovating existing residence halls, which includes the development of green space.
Will parking areas eliminated in building new construction be replaced? Will parking be added?
The Housing Development Plan will replace three existing parking lots, with a total of approximately 400 spaces, with new lots to be built on the current site of the intramural fields east of the Front Four and next to McKinley Avenue, as well as an expanded lot east of the Ping Recreation Center. The new lots will replace the lost spaces on a 1:1 ratio.
Will the new and/or renovated halls have Learning Communities?
There is opportunity to further develop our Learning Community program in the residence halls. As new construction and renovations occur, the Department of Residential Housing will work with the Learning Communities program staff and various college representatives to discuss opportunities to establish new or enhance current Learning Communities in the residence halls.
How will the flood plain impact the construction of new residence halls?
The sites proposed for construction are located in the flood plain, however each will be evaluated through the Architecture and Engineering (A&E) process to determine cost and impact on construction.
What will occur in the next twelve months?
The proposed projects for the next twelve months include debt affordability analysis, legal analysis, existing condition analysis, site analysis, concept development, project phasing, program specs, and designer selection.