Ohio University’s Board of Trustees on Friday authorized the university to move forward on a $65 million project to build a new medical school building at the corner of West Union and Factory streets on Athens’ West Side.
The Trustees also approved a number of other facilities-related projects during its regular winter meeting in Athens.
The new three-story classroom building for the OU Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine will be built on the currently vacant green space on West Union Street across the street from the parking lot of the West Union Street Office Center (formerly the HDL Center/Laughlin Building). The university is calling that green space the “Union Street Green” in the Board of Trustees’ agenda materials.
Money for the project is coming from several sources. Those include $5 million from the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, $6 million in external funding from the Osteopathic Heritage Foundation, and $54 million from OU’s “internal bank” (which is essentially a loan). The agenda notes that the Heritage College is “in discussions to reduce need to borrow from (the) internal bank by using departmental reserves.”
The design of the project should be completed soon, and construction should begin sometime later this fiscal year (likely this summer), with a rough completion date set for mid-fiscal year 2021.
In other news, the Trustees voted during the meeting Friday to approve roughly $1.16 million to renovate and repurpose OU’s Human Resources Training Center (HRTC) building at 169 W. Union St. for use by the OU HCOM program (this building is located next to the proposed site of the new HCOM building).
The Trustees also authorized OU to spend a significant amount of money to repair some old Athens Mental Health Center/Asylum buildings on The Ridges campus. Specifically, they voted to allow OU to spend roughly $925,000 to design and construct a new roof on Ridges Building 33 (built in 1952 as a power plant). Similarly, the Trustees approved the university spending $825,000 to repair the roof of Ridges Building 37, which houses OU’s printing resources center and upholstery shop, according to the university’s website.
Other projects approved by the trustees include:
• Masonry repairs to the Central Classroom building on West Union Street, at a cost of $922,000.
• Heating and cooling system upgrades to Sargent Hall on OU’s West Green, roughly $1.1 million.
• Renovation and ADA compliance improvements to the Konneker Alumni Center (on University Terrace, not far from Ellis Hall), about $1.7 million.
• A major chilled water plant project, budgeted at $31.575 million, to be located off McKinley Avenue in Athens (near OU’s Intramural Athletics fields).
The Trustees also attended a ribbon-cutting event Friday for OU’s Ellis Hall, which underwent a $13 million renovation project over the last year-plus.