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Campus leaders to discuss impact of construction projects

A busy summer approaches as OHIO builds for the future

This summer, Ohio University will experience multiple construction projects on the southwest side of the Athens campus. These projects will address much-needed infrastructure repairs and improvements. But as these projects move forward there will be an impact on traffic and parking, not only for OHIO employees and students but also the many visitors who will participate in summer activities.

Several steps are being taken to anticipate and mitigate problems. The first involves a workshop on summer events, construction, and parking for representatives of OHIO’s colleges, departments, summer programs and workshops, Parking and Transportation and other Facilities divisions, and campus communicators. The workshop will be held from noon–1 p.m. Wednesday, April 17, in 111 Ellis. City of Athens officials also will participate.

The three major summer construction projects are:

Richland Avenue/Oxbow Bridge reconstruction. This City of Athens project is scheduled to begin Monday, May 6, and end shortly before fall semester move-in. Oxbow Bridge will be closed and Richland Avenue will be closed from the intersection of Shafer Street and South Green Drive to West Mulberry Street. Oxbow Trail also will be closed from behind West Green to Baker University Center. Vehicles will be detoured onto Shafer Street; pedestrians can use Baker University Center or the steps behind the Research and Technology Building to move between Upper and Lower Campus.

Multipurpose Pavilion construction. The new indoor practice and recreation facility for athletics and recreation sport sciences will be built between Peden Stadium and the Ping Center. Work on the site is expected to begin the week of April 23 and continue to December. Construction vehicles will use South Green Drive. Lot 133—the small Peden lot—will be closed until January 2014.

Housing Development Plan Phase I. The site of the former Wolfe Street Apartments will be closed for parking and prepared for construction of new residence halls that will open in fall 2015. Work on the site will begin May 6. In addition to carrying construction traffic, South Green Drive will see excavation for installation of utilities for the site. University Terrace may be reduced to one lane or closed temporarily at times, also for utility work. In addition, parking lots 79, 81 and 82—the lots on either side of the Wolfe Street site—will be eliminated altogether. Spaces in those lots will be replaced on a 1:1 ratio.

Harry Wyatt, associate vice president for facilities, said the busy summer ahead is truly a first step in building OHIO’s future.

“These projects are the result of a very progressive capital improvement plan that was put into motion in the beginning of 2012,” he said. “Construction on this scale is a sign of progress for the University.”

Throughout the course of the construction, University Communications and Marketing will be providing updates through Compass designed to let members of university community know what to expect as the work progresses. In addition, employees and students are encouraged to watch for #OhioUBuilds to receive updates on Twitter.

“The summer construction projects are akin to any major renovation project: somewhat painful during the process, but worth it in the end,” said Renea Morris, executive director of University Communications and Marketing. “Because of the impact on the campus and community, it’s important to help ensure that everyone understands what is happening and how to plan ahead.”