The South Oval is set to lose its fences before Tuesday, but some students still said they were led to believe it would be open sooner.
The area was closed in November 2010 because of the installation of geothermal wells that aim to improve the heating and cooling systems of South Campus residence halls.
Though the initial targeted completion date was September 2012, problems with the drilling method in relation to the South Oval geologic condition delayed the project end date by more than a year.
Chesapeake Geosystems, Inc., the company initially under contract for the renovation, was released from its obligations because of its ineffective methods, according to The Lantern archives. The project originally cost $10.3 million and was expected to pay for itself in about 10 years, but the budget jumped to $12 million because of the delays and was completed by Bergerson-Caswell.
Lindsay Komlanc, OSU spokeswoman for Administration and Planning, said in an email Monday the fences surrounding the South Oval are expected to be removed soon.
“As anticipated, the fences at the South Oval will be removed late this semester,” Komlanc said. “It will be in time to host the Beat Michigan festival on the South Oval next Tuesday.”
The Beat Michigan festival is set to offer activities including laser tag, pumpkin smashing, a zip line, music and food trucks Tuesday evening.
The Mirror Lake jump is also scheduled for Tuesday night. Jumping in Mirror Lake is a university tradition that takes place the week of the OSU football game against Michigan, but it is not a university-sanctioned event.
Some OSU students said they’re excited for the South Oval to be open again.
“It will finally be over, and that will open up a lot of sidewalk. It will definitely look a bit more beautiful,” said Sameer Kanase, a graduate student in computer science.
Others said they don’t particularly care.
“It will be nice to see it cleaned up. To me, (the re-opening) doesn’t really matter though,” said YuQi Wu, a graduate student in law.
Despite paths being opened up on South Oval earlier this semester, Braden Heyd, a first-year in film studies who lives on South Campus, said the fences have still been an obstacle in navigating campus.
“The Ohio Union is something I try to get to every day and having to deal with that has become a bit annoying,” Heyd said.
While on an official campus tour last year as a prospective student, Heyd said he was under the impression the South Oval would be fully opened by this time.
Emily Stoerkel, a second-year in communication, was also led to believe the South Oval would be open by now, but she was told that a year before Heyd during her own visit to campus.
“The one real annoyance about not having South Oval open was the inability to cut through and the constant eye sore it created,” Stoerkel said.
Jason Morrow contributed to this article.