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Campus of the future: Framework 2.0 imagines transformational research, learning environments over the next decade and beyond

President Michael V. Drake, MD, announced today at his State of the University Address a long-term framework vision to help strengthen Ohio State’s position as one of the world’s most important and effective centers of teaching and research.

“Everything we do must be representative of our opportunities as a national flagship public research university. Framework 2.0 outlines a plan for how we might structure our campus to more fully capture our potential in the coming years,” Drake said in his address.

“In broad strokes, it imagines the physical spaces that will inspire every aspect of our Ohio State community to be the very best — from students, faculty and staff to visitors on campus.”

A living, flexible plan designed to allow for modification based on strategy over the next decade and beyond, Framework 2.0 supports the academic mission while maintaining and improving green areas. Broadly, its goals are to:

  • promote student success
  • support academics, research and outreach
  • strengthen access and connectivity
  • transform natural systems and open spaces

Announcements of Framework 2.0 projects will follow as they are finalized for the Columbus campus (regional campuses have their own individual, long-term planning processes).

Ohio State’s strategic plan, expected to be completed this year, will guide and inform priorities in Framework 2.0. Individual projects will be reviewed thoroughly at planning, design and construction phases with qualifying projects subject to approval by Ohio State’s Board of Trustees.

“We are excited to share a framework for campus that closely aligns with our academic mission while providing a contemporary approach to addressing an ever-changing world,” said Alex Fischer, a university trustee and head of the Master Planning and Facilities Committee.

Current, envisioned rendering of 15th Avenue and High Street

Framework 2.0 is a collaborative update of the 2010 Framework 1.0 plan. In the fall of 2015, after making significant progress on the 2010 plan, campus planners began to engage faculty, staff and students for the next iteration of the framework through surveys, open meetings and reviews.That input led to a broad vision in which Ohio State’s academic mission drives its physical environment, supporting access to an affordable, excellent education and leading-edge research.

A number of planning concepts that began in the Framework 1.0 plan have continued to evolve and develop in Framework 2.0. A plan for the 15th Avenue and High Street area, for example, will create high-quality arts facilities while opening the university’s front door and connecting to the heart of the University District.

A previously announced Cannon Drive realignment will create a protective flood barrier as well as new green space along the Olentangy River while opening up 12 acres of developable land — providing the university and the Wexner Medical Center the opportunity to grow. A restoration of Mirror Lake and the surrounding district, including Pomerene and Oxley halls, will return the area closer to its historical form, emphasize modern standards for sustainability and improve stormwater management and biodiversity.

Among longer-term concepts is an interdisciplinary research corridor, located in the mid-west portion of campus along Woody Hayes Drive.

Additional long-term concepts include lab research and teaching spaces in the west campus area that support the university’s research and innovation goals as well as community outreach and partnership efforts.

Current, envisioned rendering of mid-west campus

“The commitment is for Framework 2.0 to positively impact our entire university community,” said Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron.

A key element of Framework 2.0 will be supporting learning environments for students and faculty.

While the “no net new academic space” principle from the 2010 Framework plan helped the university use space more efficiently, factors such as enrollment and faculty growth have resulted in the need for additional classrooms and instructional labs that promote smaller class sizes with greater interaction and flexibility for new technologies.

Keith Myers, associate vice president of planning and real estate, said Framework 2.0 would not have been possible without input from faculty, staff and students during the planning process — and that campus-wide engagement will continue to be essential.

“The university has made significant progress since the 2010 plan was developed, completing many high-impact projects,” Myers said. “As a result, Framework 2.0 became a necessity, and represents a vision for our campus that will continue to advance Ohio State’s academic mission.”

Framework 2.0 also imagines research and creative spaces for current and future faculty, which supports Ohio State’s commitment to continued investment in new faculty. Furthermore, the additional and updated spaces support Ohio State’s focus on teaching and learningand help to ensure continued student success.

“It’s exciting to see the future of our campus begin to take shape in this way,” said Derek Whiddon, a student member of the planning team and a member of the Undergraduate Student Government. “We can never lose sight of our shared commitment to educating future generations of Buckeyes.”

Framework 2.0 will go before the university’s Board of Trustees for approval this month.