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Committee finalizes center suggestions

With the end of Spring Quarter fast approaching, the Ohio University multipurpose center committee is prepared to hand in its final recommendations in the next few days.

The committee, which met for its final meeting of the quarter last week, has assembled its final draft of recommendations to give to OU President Roderick McDavis.

Vice President for Student Affairs Kent Smith said the base recommendation the committee will be putting forth will include a 100-yard field and a minimum of a sprint track.

“If there is more money that is raised, then the committee thought that it would be good to add a four-lane track,” he said. “And if a lot more money was raised, then they would have a competition track added to the


Smith said the challenge will be knowing what track is feasible to fund because that will determine which bid the university ultimately accepts for the construction of the facility.

“It is not one of those things where you put a sprint track on one side now and come back five years after the building is built and say, ‘Now we want to add a track,’” he said. “It doesn’t work that way because the building would have to be wider and longer.”

In addition to the finalization of the recommendations, the committee also discussed potential building materials for the multipurpose center.

Dan Quarfoot, student senator for athletic affairs and committee member, said the possibility of steel walls with brick on the outside was discussed but would cost OU almost $15 million, something that would not be possible if there were not going to be more funds raised.

“People raised concerns about it because it is a building that they will be able to see from the highway and they want it to look nice,” said Quarfoot, who competes on Ohio’s men’s cross country team. “And that is the key to the aesthetics with the brick and everything.”

One option that was recommended was a bubbled shape for the multipurpose center, Quarfoot said, adding that President McDavis would not get behind the plans for a bubble because it would not match the campus design and architecture.

“A few of us asked, ‘Why does aesthetics matter if we are talking about millions of dollars?’” he said, adding that the committee discussed some ideas of its own, including only bricking half the building and painting the other half green and white.

“It has been a pleasant surprise to just what the possibilities really are,” Smith said. “I mean, you can do many different things with such a facility, and it could be exciting for our campus.”


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