OSU Eyes 2 Historic Buildings for $53M Makeover as Analytics Centers

Good news for Ohio State University. The Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission recently announced the 2015-16 capital funding recommendations for the state’s public colleges and universities. The proposal includes funds for the renovation of two iconic Ohio State buildings, Oxley and Pomerene Halls, as well as other building and facility repair and maintenance projects.

Two historic buildings at Ohio State University would be transformed into state-of-the-art facilities for the school’s new data analytics program as part of a $94 million capital program recommended by a state panel. The projects are included in the $405 million capital budget for the state’s public colleges and universities.

The Ohio Higher Education Funding Commission recommended $37.2 million for the makeover of 92-year-old Pomerene Hall and $15.6 million to renovate Oxley Hall (pictured), which dates from 1907.

In announcing the plan, officials cited the growing demand for data analytics skills. According to recent estimates, only one third of the 4.4 million positions needed globally by 2015 will be filled. In response, Ohio State recently launched one of the nation’s first undergraduate majors in data analytics. It is also partnering with IBM, which is developing the IBM Client Center for Advanced Analytics in Columbus.

In addition to the Oxley Hall and Pomerene Hall renovations, the commission recommended $15 million for repairs and renovation on Ohio State’s Columbus campus, $9.1 million for the university’s regional campuses and $17.5 million to reduce operating expenses. The allocations must be approved by state lawmakers and Gov. John Kasich.

“On behalf of Ohio State, I am proud to have joined other higher education leaders across the state in this truly collaborative budget process,” said the university’s interim president, Joseph Alutto, in statement. “The commission’s focus was to prioritize programs and initiatives that would meet the long-term needs of all Ohioans through job creation and economic development. I am grateful to Governor Kasich for this opportunity and to my higher education colleagues for their insights in helping to chart a course for Ohio’s future.”

Photo of Oxley Hall: Ohio State University