Since 2010, Ohio University’s layout has changed after the demolition 24 buildings and construction of 18 buildings.

In 2010, the Academic Research Center was fully constructed and ready for use. The ARC was built for the Heritage College of Medicine and the College of Engineering, Shawna Bolin, associate vice president for university planning, said.

The Oasis, a restaurant and convenience store run by the university, was demolished in 2011, although it closed its doors as a restaurant in 2006.

Bolin, who is an alumna, had personal experience with the facility as a student, as she and many of the other interior design students frequented the establishment. 

“People would go to The Oasis and get snacks or coffee or whatever and then go back to the studio because we'd be in the studio all night long,” Bolin said. 

The Wolfe Street Apartments, formerly apartment style housing for married students, students with children, faculty and staff,  were demolished in 2011, which was the beginning of housing phase one. Housing phase one is part of the university’s housing master plan for altering the layout of campus. 

The indoor practice facility, Walter Fieldhouse, was constructed in 2014.

That made way for the construction of the Living Learning Center, built in 2015, as well as Luchs, Sowle, Carr and Tanaka halls.

The President Street Academic Building, or PSAC, was demolished in 2016, which caused discussion as to whether the building should’ve been demolished or not. The PSAC was a historical building located West of Chubb Hall was designed by architect Frank Packard.

“There was some interest as to whether we should have (demolished it),” Bolin said. “Definitely the building had some issues associated with.”

Housing phase one also included the demolition of many residence halls on South Green, often referred to as Dirty South. This included Brough, Foster and Cady Houses, which were demolished in 2016. It also included O’Bleness, Martzoff and Fenzel Houses, which were demolished in 2017.

Other projects, like the renovation of Jefferson, Ellis and McCracken halls took place within the decade as well, Bolin said.

The OU Observatory was constructed in 2017 at the site of The Ridges building 26, which was demolished in 2012. 

“The observatory was something that the university just didn't have in place,” Bolin said. “We had a telescope that was refurbished by staff within the Clippinger facility.” 

More recently, 9 Factory St. was demolished in 2019 after the university hoped to have the building uplifted and taken elsewhere to no avail. The building was a two-story warehouse-type building that was in the space the HCOM building was going to be.

Brown House, the white house on the top of Jefferson Hill, was also demolished in 2019 due to the university deeming it beyond saving.

“There's 14 houses around the College Green. This was the one that had significant deterioration and a floor collapse,” Bolin said. “We did a small house plan, in which we figured out ways to protect and invest in the houses and prioritize our limited resources and investments. And that was the one that we determined, was unable to remain.”

The students, staff and faculty are not the only entity affected by the layout of OU. In the past decade, the city of Athens has both enjoyed and dealt with the university’s expansion as well.

“The new medical building being constructed on West Union will alter the appearance of this approach into Athens,” City Council President, Chris Knisely said in an email. “But this could also provide an opportunity to coordinate infrastructure improvements to this roadway.”

A downside to the expansion is the loss of commercial land for the city, Mayor Steve Patterson said.

“It takes away from the opportunity for a new business to come in that might be bringing other individuals into the city to work who may not have been here prior to,” Patterson said.

@thatdbemyluck

tb040719@ohio.edu