New South Green residence hall will feature large rooms, living-learning space
Jan. 31, 2007
By Melissa Evans
Nestled between Hoover and Nelson halls and placed conveniently near the tennis courts and Ping Center, Ohio University students soon will have a new place to call home. The building taking shape on South Green, scheduled to open this fall, will let the university take other halls on campus offline for renovations while maintaining on-campus enrollment.
With room for 350 upperclassmen, the facility will provide enough housing for the university to renovate up to two buildings at a time. The likely candidate for the first update will be Lincoln Hall. Pending Board of Trustees approval, that could happen sometime next year, Associate Vice President for Facilities John Kotowski says.
The hall is a permanent addition to campus and will continue to house upperclassemen regardless renovations on other buildings. However, its ability to serve as a "swing" facility makes it possible for the university to initiate efforts to make housing environments increasingly more desirable for the approximately 7,800 students who live on campus, Kotowski says.
Those efforts often mean the inclusion of popular living-learning space, a trend in housing that allows student programming to take place within the residence hall.
"(Living-learning space) is an opportunity to have a secluded area where you can have a meeting without being interrupted by people passing through a lobby," Judy Piercy, interim director of residence life, says. "It's also an opportunity to bring in presenters and faculty and bring what's happening inside the classrooms to the residence hall."
The living-learning space in 63 South Green Drive -- as the new residence hall will be called until it is officially named -- will be a success if it's received like the one in recently updated Biddle Hall. Resident Director Annie Russell says that students use it for everything from America Idol night to Residential Learning Community study sessions to faculty presentations.
"It's been the most popular space in the building," Russell says. "It's helped to create a community. Every one loves it."
Additional perks for the new hall, which cost $24 million, include its location. Calling it the "gateway to South Green," Kotowski says his team chose the building's setting based on feedback from students on a recent survey in which they named areas close to the Ping as one of their top picks.
Additionally, living quarters will be set up suite style, with a common bathroom sandwiched between two double rooms, similar to the setup of Bromley Hall. Ohio University's 42nd residence hall also will have central air conditioning, and, Kotowski says, the rooms are "bigger and nicer than anything on South Green."
Zach Stierhoff, a freshman who lives in Washington Hall on East Green, thinks he would be attracted to living in a brand new hall. He also says he likes the way the new building will be laid out.
"I think it would be very convenient to live in (a suite)," he says. "I have a few friends at other schools that live in those set ups and they are nice."
Housing contracts for 2007-08 will be available to current students beginning April 6.
Melissa Evans is a student writer with University Communications and Marketing.