The Walter Fieldhouse is an indoor multipurpose facility. It is located alongside along the Hocking River and can be found on the campus map within coordinates E-5 and G-7. It is marked as #17 on the map.
This facility is approximately 70' from field to ceiling, 395' long and 220' wide for approximately 80,000 square feet. This field space will include a full turf football practice field; 4 lane track, long jump and pole vaulting pit for track; as well as storage facilities, and standard support amenities to include lobby/equipment desk, administrative office, and bathroom facilities. The facility is a $12.5 million project with funding support generated primarily from donors, with the largest portion given by the Walter Family and the remaining funding from student fees of $1.2 million.
The Walter Fieldhouse will be utilized for recreation and sports classes, athletics practices, Marching 110 practices, ROTC training and Student Affairs activities to include intramurals, club sports, and open recreation as well as limited events, community activities, and summer conferences.
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The Walters both graduated from Ohio University in 1967, Robert Walter with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Margaret Walter with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Robert Walter went on and earned his Master's degree in Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1970, and later received an Honorary Doctorate from Ohio University in 1997. In the year 1971 at age 26, Robert purchased Cardinal Foods, a small Ohio food wholesaler, in a leveraged buyout. Walter soon after founded Cardinal Health, Inc, and became the chairman and CEO of the company. Cardinal Health is now an $87 billion USD Fortune 100 company and one of the largest distributors of pharmaceuticals, health & beauty products, and hospital supplies in the United States. Walter retired from Cardinal Health in June 2008.
In his alumnus years, Robert Walter served on Ohio University's Board of Trustees from 1997 and later retired in 2005. Neither his wife nor him have been a stranger to Ohio University since leaving Athens in 1967. Robert Walter currently serves on Ohio University's Promise Lives Campaign Steering Committee, which is leading the effort to raise $450 million in support of Ohio University students, faculty, staff and programs. The Walter's have also collectively donated over $19 million since 1988 to the university in order to improve old and build new resources for the current students. These resources include: Margaret M. Walter Hall (a gift of $5 million), Walter International Education Center (a gift of 15 Park Place, the old home of Robert Walter's collegiate fraternity, Sigma Chi and a renovation worth $2 million), Walter Center for Strategic Leadership (a gift of $2 million donated by Cardinal Health in honor of Robert Walter's retirement), and the Walter Fieldhouse (a gift of $8 million), which is currently being constructed next to Peden Stadium.
Where will the Walter Fieldhouse be placed?
The facility will be constructed on the east side of Peden Stadium located between Peden and the Ping Recreation Center.
How large is this facility?
The facility will be larger than a football field, approximately 70 feet from field to ceiling, 395’ long and 220’ wide for approximately 80,000 square feet. The field space will include a full turf football field, 4 lane track, storage facilities, and standard support amenities to include lobby/equipment desk, administrative office, and bathroom facilities.
How will this facility be funded? Will general tuition rates or student fees be utilized?
The vast majority of the $12.5 million dollar facility will be funded by private donations with only $1.2 million from general fees with no funding coming from general tuition dollars.
How will and who will utilize this facility?
The Walter Fieldhouse will be utilized for Recreation and Sports Classes, Athletics practices, Marching 110 practices, ROTC training, and Student Affairs activities to include Intramural, Club Sports, and open recreation as well as limited events, local activities and summer conferences.
Why is this facility important to the mission of Ohio University?
The Walter Fieldhouse will provide an additional recruitment tool for students participating in the various user activities. Practices and events will continue through inclement weather, class opportunities will be increased, and the facility will offer new and additional space for large events on campus.
When will construction begin and when is the facility planned to open?
The facility utility infrastructure construction began in April 2013 with a final facility completion date planned for March 2014.
A resolution was presented to the Board of Trustees at the April 2013 meeting for approval.
What technology will be integrated into the new facility?
The facility technologies include keyless access, video surveillance, Wi-Fi; and other amenities to help accommodate building usage for lighting and netting.
What services and/or amenities will be provided in the new facility?
There will be a full size football field to accommodate football and soccer practice, along with a 4 lane practice running track, long jump area, and a pole vaulting pit for track. Netting will enable simultaneous activities to be conducted in the facility. This will include special cages for batting and golf lessons, as well as field nets for half field and one-third field activities to support multiple classes and recreational activities. Recreation and Sports Classes will also occur in the facility as well as other academic support activities to include the Ohio University Band and ROTC. Event opportunities and conference activities will be supported on a limited basis.
What will the capacity be for spectators in the facility? Will there be seating?
The maximum participant capacity is 320. On a limited basis for one-time-only events, capacity may be authorized up to 2000 participants. Events exceeding the standard capacity of 320 will require special approval and will include costs to accommodate an event of this size. A limited amount of temporary seating will be available for approved spectator sporting activities or events.
What impact will the Walter Fieldhouse have on the Athens community?
The Walter Fieldhouse will provide another facility to offer opportunities for large events and indoor activities not otherwise offered within the local regional area. This facility offers new opportunities for community events, conferences and local sporting activities.
How much green space will be lost in the new construction plan?
The facility footprint will be larger than a football field surrounded by a 4 lane track and will accommodate indoor storage and other facility support needs. Parking will only be replaced on a 1:1 ratio within the surrounding area to accommodate current and future needs.
Currently there are two outdoor practice football fields maintained in the Peden Stadium area. One field will remain fully operational, and a portion of the second field will be impacted as a result of constructing the Walter Fieldhouse.
Will parking be impacted by the construction of the Walter Fieldhouse and is there a replacement plan?
Yes. Lost parking has been planned for replacement on a 1:1 ratio. Parking replacement will be provided around the Walter Fieldhouse to accommodate the current and future needs of the area.
How will the flood plain impact the construction of the new facility?
The site proposed for construction is located in the flood plain, however plans were developed to meet the needs of the facility by the Architecture and Engineering (A&E) firm. Special features of the facility are planned to support open flood proofing known as the “wet-flood proofing” by providing multiple doors for open access on approximately 50 percent of the facility perimeter.
Who will provide oversight to the Walter Fieldhouse?
The Walter Fieldhouse will be under the leadership of Campus Recreation within the Division of Student Affairs. Campus Recreation will oversee the operational needs, coordinate scheduling, and manage special events.