ATHENS, Ohio (Aug. 9, 2004) -- After an inspection by Ohio University President Roderick McDavis, the Mill Street Apartments complex will remain standing while a cost assessment of its rehabilitation is completed. McDavis' tour of the 10 apartment buildings was completed this past week and it was evident to him that there was good reason to revisit the decision to demolish them even after preliminary work had begun.
Said McDavis, "I needed to see for myself what condition Mill Street was in and, while I understand the dynamics of the decision to move forward with plans to tear the buildings down, I see a potential here that we cannot afford to ignore."
"As a result, I have asked that we reach out to private developers and gain the benefit of their proposals for rehabilitation of the Mill Street Apartments."
The university will observe a 60-day waiting period that begins Aug. 11. During that time, private developers will have the opportunity to inspect the property and determine its potential for the future. In addition, those developers will be invited to submit bids in response to a university issue of a request for proposals or RFP. A key element of those proposals will be the potential cost of restoring the facilities to a standard of quality that is consistent with the institution's expectations for student housing and to all municipal and state codes. Prevailing union wages will be a requirement of any proposal submitted by potential participants in the project.
Another critical component of the proposals will be projections for potential revenue to the university realized via the operation of the apartment complex. It remains a possibility that the cost of returning the apartment buildings to that condition or operating them may ultimately prove prohibitive to refurbishing the apartments.
Built in the 1960s and 1970s, the Mill Street Apartments complex has most recently been utilized to house graduate students and their families. Beginning last fall, residents of the apartments were assisted in relocating to other accommodations both on campus and off, and the last of the residents departed at the conclusion of the first summer session.
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