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Ohio State seeking board approval for athletic facilities face-lift

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Ohio Stadium and other university athletic facilities could see multi-million dollar renovations. Credit: Lantern File Photo

Ohio Stadium and other university athletic facilities could see multi-million dollar renovations. Credit: Lantern File Photo

On Friday, Ohio State announced its plan for construction on several athletic venues across campus, including Ohio Stadium and the Schottenstein Center.

OSU is seeking approval from the Board of Trustees for several multi-million dollar construction and renovation plans. The board is set to meet next week.

The university proposed a $39 million dollar facelift to Ohio Stadium. The construction plan includes the laying of new concrete on the C-deck, plus the addition of new suites and boxes for fan seating. The estimated time of completion is set for before the beginning of the 2020 football season.

A university spokesman could not comment on whether renovations would add seats to the already 104,944-seat stadium.

“Ohio Stadium is the crown jewel of our athletic operations,” said Gene Smith, senior vice president and Wolfe Foundation-endowed athletics director, in the press release. “These renovations will improve the fan experience and continue to make it one of the best facilities in the nation.”

Another project awaiting approval from the Board of Trustees is a $31.5 million renovation to the Schottenstein Center. The project would expand the concourse, improve the team store and athletic ticket office, as well as add natural lighting to the venue. Construction is estimated to take a full year and be completed in Feb. 2018.

The Covelli Multi-Sport Arena, originally announced last fall to be located on the corner of Ackerman Road and Fred Taylor Drive, is being moved north of Jesse Owens Memorial Stadium, and will be combined with the Jennings Family Wrestling Practice Facility.

The Covelli Multi-Sport Arena, originally reported as a $30 million investment, costs north of $49 million with the addition of the Jennings Family Wrestling Practice Facility.

OSU women’s and men’s volleyball, wrestling, men’s and women’s gymnastics, and men’s and women’s fencing teams will compete at the 3,700-seat venue, scheduled to be completed in 2019.

“Innovation and creative planning helped find a new opportunity for the Covelli Multi-Sport/Jennings Family Wrestling Facility,” said Alex Fischer, Trustee and head of the Master Planning and Facilities Committee, in a press release. “Combining the arena and the practice facility will ultimately realize a cost savings on both projects.”

The Biggs Facility that is attached to the Woody Hayes Athletic Center will be replaced with the Schumaker Student-Athlete Development Center. The new facility will include around new athletic offices and a “state-of-the-art” athletic training facility. The project’s cost is estimated at $43 million.

There was no date given in the press release for completion of the project.

All athletic construction projects are self-funded by the Athletic Department through revenue and fundraising.

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