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Monday, November 20, 2006
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Ohio University Lancaster announces plans to renovate library, gymnasium

ATHENS, Ohio (Nov. 20, 2006) -- Ohio University Lancaster Campus Dean MaryAnn Janosik announced today that plans to proceed with the construction of a new community conference center have been postponed indefinitely. Instead, the campus will proceed with renovations to the Hannah V. McCauley Library and the gymnasium.

Campus and university officials, as well as the members of the Lancaster Campus Coordinating Council, agreed that securing renovations for the library and gymnasium outweighed the need to move forward on the building of a new community conference center. "With the rising costs of building materials offset by limited resources, we thought it more important to focus on two of the campus arms that most effectively embrace community outreach: the library and the gym," Janosik said.

The community center and field house concept, part of the Campus Master Plan unveiled in June, 2002, was projected at $8-10 million to construct. The "new front door," also part of the Campus Master Plan, opened earlier this month. In addition to a new entrance, the renovation of Brasee Hall includes a bi-level lobby with a vending area and gathering space on the second level; new, highly visible welcome desk, as well as a theatre vestibule for light and sound lock.

Advances in technology and an expanding collection of bound materials as well as providing more opportunities for community outreach helped the decision to advance library expansion and upgrades at this time. The gymnasium, not part of the 1968 construction of Brasee Hall, was added in 1977 and is in need of various repairs and equipment upgrades. Approximately $3.2 million in federal, state, and private funds will be redirected to support the renovations. Private contributions, including those originally pledged toward the community conference center also will be utilized, based upon the wishes of the donor. Letters are being sent to those who may want their pledge redirected from the community center to the library renovation.

Facilities that directly support the campus mission and students are priorities. Students also prefer spaces that enhance their experiences, in research, in project collaboration, in health and fitness, or in athletic competition with other regional campuses. Campus and University Planning officials will meet soon to discuss needs and develop project bid specifications.

Ohio University Lancaster Campus and Pickerington Center serve 1,700 students per quarter. The university has offered classes in Lancaster for 50 years and in Pickerington for nearly 30 years. Student may complete two dozen associate's, bachelor's and master's degrees, as well as many certificate programs locally.

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Media Contact: Jennifer LaRue at 740-654-6711, ext. 281, or larue@ohio.edu or Lancaster Campus Dean MaryAnn Janosik at 740-654-6711, ext. 202, or janosik@ohio.edu

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