Ohio University-Chillicothe celebrated the official opening of the Parkway Project during a ceremony on campus Thursday, Nov. 12. The event was part of OU-C Day, which included a number of activities to celebrate the spirit of the Chillicothe Campus.
The Parkway Project provides a major transformation to the face of the Chillicothe Campus and includes a parkway, plaza and other renovations to support the campus’ learning environment. These renovations are part of OU-C’s 50 year campus plan to further improve the overall quality of life on campus and position the Chillicothe Campus for future success.
Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis joined in the celebration to recognize the parkway opening, addressing the crowd gathered for the ribbon cutting.
“Ohio University-Chillicothe is obviously a campus that is moving forward,” McDavis said. “This Parkway Project supports the vibrant learning environment on campus and positions the Chillicothe Campus for continued success.”
The project includes enhancements to both of the main campus entrances. The Fifth Street entrance includes pedestrian walkways and opens to a plaza area in front of Bennett Hall. Brick concrete columns on University Drive will provide a more prominent entrance off of Route 50 (Western Boulevard).
An amphitheater behind Stevenson Center, still under construction, will seat 50 to 100 people in the campus’ natural setting and will serve as a place for students and faculty to interact.
The project also will provide additional parking space, increasing the number of spaces from 452 to 486 total permanent spaces.
Campus Dean Richard Bebee describes the changes as more than just a construction project or a physical improvement.
“The magnitude of this endeavor goes far beyond its practical ramifications,” according to Bebee. “Rather, this new look truly reflects the quality of the Ohio University-Chillicothe educational experience. OU-C now has more of the appearance of a small, quality college campus.”
Student Kimberly Bowers, representing OU-C students, agreed with Bebee’s sentiment as she spoke to the crowd gathered at the ceremony.
“As a student, the biggest transformation I notice is the increased amount of pride that I have in my college home,” Bowers said. “As we all realize, the way a campus looks is important, especially in making a good, first impression on visitors. This project captures the sense of optimism on campus.”
Local and state officials also addressed the audience. Chillicothe Mayor Joe Sulzer, a former OU-C student, presented Dean Bebee with a resolution to recognize the campus’ contributions to Chillicothe and the region. Ohio representatives Ray Pryor and Clyde Evans presented Bebee and McDavis a commendation from the Ohio House of Representatives.
The Unioto High School Band opened the festivities with a stirring performance, and the quartet 4-A-Lark sang the National Anthem.