The university’s sprawling campus overhaul, Framework 2.0, will take the next step forward with five more specific projects, Ohio State officials said, ranging from the west-of-High Street portion of the 15th and High plan to additional buildings at the Wexner Medical Center.
The long-term vision will go before the Board of Trustees this Friday for a vote that will enable the university to begin each individual undertaking.
“This is the first step,” said Bruce McPheron, provost and executive vice president. “Getting this in the book so there is a place to act is important.”
While Framework 2.0 — an update to the original Framework redevelopment plan — was passed as a concept by the Board of Trustees in January, this is a more specific proposal. With board approval, OSU will seek out price quotes and plans from individual firms on how they will handle each of the five projects.
University spokesman Chris Davey said that the estimated price for the planning costs of all five projects is between $5 to $7 million dollars.
Further details on exact locations, timelines and costs for new building projects were not yet known.
Arts District at 15th and High
As part of its vision for the on-campus part of the 15th and High project, OSU wants to open up more space around the Wexner Plaza in an attempt to make the space a “gateway” to campus, while also creating a more unified area for arts programs.
“It’s focusing on the area around the Wexner Center for the Arts and Mershon Auditorium,” McPheron said. “This has been a topic of conversation for a number of years here … we see this as the perfect time to take the next steps.”
Just what those next steps are exactly is unclear for now, but officials say more will be known after architectural firms submit design and price ideas for their ideas to change the building and spacial layout.
For now one thing that is known is this project will not be just one building, but instead a series of buildings, possibly even linked together for increased interaction.
Interdisciplinary Research Building
Officials said the goal of this sprawling building would be a center for collaboration and research across several different disciplines.
“We don’t anticipate growing our student population,” McPheron said. “But as we change the way we teach and have more engaged teaching there is going to be a need for additional teaching and learning space.”
An exact location has yet to be picked out, but officials said it would go pocket of campus around West 18th and 19th avenues.
McPherson also said the building could be key to attracting more researchers.
“As we continue to recruit faculty, and there is a real intensification of the kind of research that we’re doing, we would hope to grow post-docs and perhaps the graduate student population over time,” McPheron said.
Health Sciences Campus
As part of the new rollout, the current medical campus will see a facelift in the coming years, with upgrades and overhauls coming to a handful of the seven college making up the area.
“This gives us an opportunity to really think about how could we think about that district over on the health campus from an education perspective,” McPheron said. “This will be an opportunity to think creatively about next generation teaching and learning space.”
Officials said that collaboration and connectivity are more important now than ever in patient care, and the hope is for these overhauls to help with that.
“As you know, healthcare is a little turbulent right now,” said Sheldon Retchin, CEO of the Wexner Medical Center and executive vice president of health sciences. “It requires all hands on deck, a sense of team and collaboration.”
Wexner Medical Center
Although exact plans and details of the undertaking were not yet known, officials said they are looking to increase research opportunities, as well as in patient care facilities at the Wexner Medical Center, noting that they will re-assess the number of beds they have.
“We do everything from hangnails to transplants,” Retchin said. “So we will have to look at that those kinds of programs with the right firm.”
Retchin said he was confident space could be found in the already crowded medical campus area.
Officials said a key focus in this project would be on increasing their outpatient care options, as well as new research space.
“Ambulatory construction is changing very fast,” Retchin said. “Much of healthcare is moving from inpatient care to outpatient care at warp speed.”
Retchin said this advancement in OSU’s facilities would help them be ahead of the times and plan for the future.