The Ohio State University Board of Trustees has approved a $396 million plan to transform the North Residential District into a unique neighborhood where students will live and learn, according to The Columbus Dispatch. On August 31, trustees gave OSU officials the green light to start hiring architects, engineers and other consultants. The plan calls for the addition of 3,200 beds in 11 new dormitories and would double the number of beds on north campus to 6,359.
Under the plan, four existing dorms on Lane Ave. and North High Street would be torn down to make way for the new facilities. Eight of the new residence halls would rise between 5 and 7 stories, and the other three would be 12 stories tall. Also on the agenda is construction of two new dining halls and a 35,000-square-foot fitness center amid three existing 12-story residential towers.
OSU will finance the project through a combination of bonds and university reserve funds. The first phase of construction is scheduled to begin by July 2013 and will add 1,600 beds to the north campus upon completion in June 2015. The second phase of construction, which will add another 1,600 beds, will start by July 2014 and be completed by June 2016.
OSU officials maintain that the project will increase the number of beds, add new dining, recreation and support facilities, and generally enhance the student experience. It is tied to a new policy that requires students to live on campus through their sophomore years.
“We know that students who live in the residence halls for two years have significantly higher second-year retention and graduation rates than those who have never lived on campus,” commented Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. “We are creating another exceptional living environment, complementing work already underway in the South Residential District, incorporating the elements of student success, programmatic needs, architectural innovation, and student and faculty interaction.”
Image courtesy of www.facebook.com/osu.