Members of the Ohio University and local communities are invited to get a first look at the newly renovated Jefferson Hall during a Reopening Celebration scheduled for 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18.

Members of the Ohio University and local communities are invited to get a first look at the newly renovated Jefferson Hall during a Reopening Celebration scheduled for 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18.

Photographer: Joanna Stoltzfus

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Jefferson Hall Reopening Celebration to be held Aug. 18


A new academic year at Ohio University will also usher in a new era for the residence hall that serves as the heart of the Athens Campus’ historic East Green.

Ohio University’s Jefferson Hall is about to reopen following an approximately $30 million full rehabilitation, and members of the OHIO and local communities are invited to get a first look at the newly renovated building.

A Jefferson Hall Reopening Celebration is scheduled for 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 18. The event will kick off with welcoming remarks from President M. Duane Nellis, Vice President for Student Affairs and Interim Chief Diversity Officer Jason Pina, and Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life Pete Trentacoste. Those remarks will be followed by a reception and tours of the residential areas of the building. 

Construction on an approximately $40 million project to renovate both the dining and residential areas of Jefferson Hall began in May 2016. The new Jefferson Marketplace, a first-of-its-kind neighborhood marketplace that replaced the traditional Jefferson Dining Hall, opened in January 2017 (see related article) while construction continued on the residential areas. 

With a goal of enhancing the residential experience within a building that has housed OHIO students for nearly 60 years, construction on the residential areas of Jefferson Hall involved the rehabilitation of approximately 80,000 square feet of space. 

The renovated Jefferson Hall is home to 285 beds, with student housing occupying the second, third and fourth floors of the building. The student rooms feature brand new furnishings, including built-in cabinetry, and individual climate control capabilities. Upgrades to the building’s living areas include new furniture in the common areas; small laundry rooms as well as quiet study spaces and common areas on each floor; improved restroom facilities with enhanced privacy; and a shared kitchen on the fourth floor.

Trentacoste noted that the features included in the living areas of Jefferson Hall were all incorporated into the project based on feedback provided by students.

The new Jefferson Hall won’t just serve the students who call the building home. The first floor of the building was designed to serve the entire OHIO student body. 

In addition to the Jefferson Marketplace, which was built to serve both the on- and off-campus community, the first floor of Jefferson Hall houses a game room, a reservable multipurpose room, numerous study spaces, a reading room, and the new East Green Mail Center. (See related article.)  

“We want the first floor of Jefferson Hall to be an engaging space open to all students,” Trentacoste said.

Other improvements to Jefferson Hall include:

  • The addition of an elevator, improving the building’s accessibility
  • The installation of new finishes, windows, plumbing, mechanical components, state-of-the-art communication systems, and electrical infrastructure, including LED lighting
  • A refreshed lower-level parking structure with elevator access and new lighting

The newly renovated residential areas of Jefferson Hall will officially open on Thursday, Aug. 24, and will house first-year students. The Jefferson Marketplace, which will not be open for the Aug. 18 event, will open for fall semester at 7 a.m. on Thursday, Aug. 24.