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Ohio University considers expansion of academic engagement corridor

Published: October 21, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Site of former residence hall, Scott Quad, provides future vision to enhance academic experience

Scott Quad was built in 1937 and has served myriad purposes over the past 84 years. 

Named after OHIO’s seventh President, Dr. William Henry Scott, Scott Quad was first used as men’s dormitory but also served as army training units and later housing for women. Paul Newman lived in the residence Hall when he was a student in the 1940s, and it was also the site of the University’s first co-ed residence hall in the 1960s.

Today, the building is no longer included within our residential portfolio due, in part, to the location of the building.   

“Ohio Housing and Residence Life takes pride in making a mid- to large-size residential program feel connected through the creation of three dynamic residential greens,” interim executive director of housing and residence life Jneanne Hacker said. “Being part of but distant from the majority east green residence halls, Scott Quad does not contribute towards a sense of a green-based community which enhances a student’s sense of belonging and maximizes Bobcat to Bobcat connections.”   

Scott Quad is one of several facilities within the University’s portfolio reshaping initiative that has been shared with the Board of Trustees over the past year. 

The University’s investment in portfolio reshaping is recouped by precluding long-term deferred maintenance investment and avoiding ongoing operations and maintenance costs.

“Our physical footprint is one of the highest expenses to the institution as it relates to capital and operational investment,” Associate Vice President of University Planning Shawna Wolfe said. “The University’s portfolio reshaping strategy will allow us to maximize space utilization and enable flexibility for ever-changing programmatic needs. Our goal is to invest in facilities and infrastructure that better serves our students and campus community.”

Operation and maintenance savings will ultimately lead to investments in budget shortfalls or programmatic needs.  

After Board approval in early October, plans are now underway to demolish the vacant building in the summer of 2022 to make way for increased access for engagement central to campus.

The Scott Quad site is situated within the engagement and science core, as well as the academic corridor on Park Place, and future plans align with the strategic goals and objectives outlined in OHIO’s Comprehensive Facility Master Plan.

“It is our hope that opening this site up will greatly enhance the academic engagement ecosystem that the University has championed this past decade,” Wolfe said. “Additionally, our vision will bridge some accessibility needs we have for this corridor.” 

While planning for the new space will take several years, once the building has been demolished, the University intends to use it as green space. Parking will also continue to be available on site.

Bolin said University Planning intends to preserve some of Scott Quad’s most valued elements, such as the building’s outdoor corridor experience. We are also evaluating the best method to memorialize this facility as part of site restoration efforts.

“Knowing that many alumni and students have fond memories of Scott Quad, we fully intend to honor the building’s history,” Wolfe said.