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South Green Catwalk Closure & Repair Project 

What is currently occurring with the catwalk system on South Green?

A structural inspection conducted by the Office of Design & Construction on the South Green catwalk system earlier this month revealed that several sections of the catwalk have deteriorated faster than anticipated and repairs are needed at this time. Housing and Residence Life decided to close these structures immediately and begin these repairs to ensure student safety.

What are the South Green catwalks?

Between 1968 and 1970, 15 new residence halls were constructed on 17.9 acres of South Green as part of the campus residential plan. To meet state and federal flood plain regulations, elevated walkways known as “catwalks” were constructed to connect these facilities to each other and to the front four and Nelson Commons.

What areas of the catwalks will be closed?

The areas requiring closure are:

  1. The catwalks directly adjacent to Cady, Foster and Brough Houses
  2. The catwalks directly adjacent to Dougan and True Houses
  3. The catwalks directly adjacent to Armbruster, Atkinson and Smith Houses

The closed areas will be clearly marked and barricaded.

How does this affect the halls served by these catwalks?

The catwalk level entrances to Armbruster, Atkinson and Dougan Houses will be removed.

The primary entrance / exit to these facilities will be the ground level doors. Construction may require that the doors directly beneath the catwalks be temporarily closed on an as need basis while repairs are being completed.

How long will these catwalks remain closed?

We anticipate that these catwalks will remain closed for at least the duration of this academic year while repair work is being completed.

What action is being taken to address the catwalks that have been indentified as needing repairs?

Housing and Residence Life and the Office of Design & Construction are working to address these issues as quickly as possible. The timeline is under development and will be impacted based on the final repair strategy selected and weather conditions.

The first step of this process will be to select an architect/engineering firm to complete the design work and provide the necessary schematics and drawings. Once this is done, the project(s) will be advertised for bids, a contractor will be selected, and construction will begin.

This entire process is estimated to take approximately 10 – 12 months.

What about the rest of the catwalk system?

The remainder of the catwalk system has already received past repairs, is safe, and will remain open. The Office of Design & Construction will continue to monitor and evaluate the entire catwalk system on an ongoing basis.

What is the university's residential capital planning strategy in determining the needed repairs and scope of work for the South Green catwalks?

As a part of Ohio University’s housing capital planning process, Design & Construction annually reviews and conducts structural inspections on the catwalk system. The results of these inspections are used to determine which projects will be completed at any given time, and inform future project planning.

How do the catwalks and the back 15 residence halls on South Green fit within the Housing Master Plan?

The primary area of campus that will be impacted by the recommendations of the Housing Master Plan is the back 15 buildings of South Green. These buildings, and the catwalk system servicing them, will be torn down over the next 10 years and replaced by new buildings, possible recreation fields, and an overall enhanced master plan of the green.

Why invest further in the catwalks? Why not tear them down now?

This is a complicated discussion as the telecommunication service lines (network, telephone and cable television) and natural gas lines that support the back 15 residence halls of South Green are integrated into the catwalk system. Any solution or project decision must account for the protection of these vital utilities and services.

How much will these catwalk repairs cost?

Over the past 10 years, the university has already invested over $2 million dollars in maintenance and repairs to the South Green catwalk system. It is estimated that this project will cost $1.3 million to address all remaining structural issues until further progress in the housing master plan can address the replacement or renovation of the back 15 residence halls on South Green.

What is the communication strategy?

Housing and Residence Life, in conjunction with University Communications & Marketing, will be notifying students and the campus community of the status of the project via compass, email messages and social media outlets. Housing and Residence Life will also be conducting community meetings in the halls directly affected.

Who should I contact for more information about this project?

Please contact University Communications & Marketing