14:50 PM

Construction officially underway for new WOSU headquarters

East 14th Avenue location is part of Campus Partners’ 15+HIGH project

A groundbreaking ceremony Thursday morning helped kick off the construction of the new headquarters for WOSU Public Media.

The new building will be located at the corner of East 14th Avenue and Pearl Alley just east of The Ohio State University campus. The $29 million building is part of the new 15+HIGH project being developed by Campus Partners. The five-floor, 52,000-square-foot WOSU headquarters and studios is expected to be completed by early 2021.

“This new headquarters will be transformative for WOSU, but more importantly it significantly expands our ability to serve this growing community and the Ohio State campus,” said Tom Rieland, general manager of WOSU Public Media. “Much more than just a structure, this space encourages public engagement through experiential activities and events, it’ll be a place for the community and students to create their own stories, a collaborative public space to discuss the primary issues facing our community and the world. This new facility provides a new model for public media across the country.”

The building will feature an open 2,200-square-foot community studio, an expanded newsroom, broadcast studios, a performance studio and a state-of-the-art media learning lab. Rieland said the facility will enable WOSU to expand and enhance its programming for the more than 2 million citizens it reaches through television, radio, digital channels and its WOSU Classroom services.

Ohio State Executive Vice President and Provost Bruce A. McPheron said the new headquarters will help connect the new 15+HIGH district with the heart of campus.

“Location matters. Proximity to campus will allow hundreds of students to have an experience with WOSU every year, creating regular connectivity to that academic core that we’ve referenced,” he said. “WOSU will truly be reknit into the fabric that is the culture of this campus in a wholly new way.”

The 15+HIGH development will include a University Square public space and a “signature building” that features direct sightlines to The Oval and William Oxley Thompson Library. A reimagined Pearl Alley will serve as a retail corridor with new stores and restaurants.

“The 15+HIGH project has been a dream for six years now and it’s taken a tremendous amount of work to get to this point,” said Keith Myers, vice president of Planning and Real Estate for Ohio State. “This is the first building to really come out of the ground here at this most important of all corners for the university.”

The project is part of the university’s Framework 2.0, a plan for the physical environment of the Columbus campus guided and informed by Ohio State’s Time and Change strategic plan.

“This building will be a phenomenal addition to campus – a place of energy and innovation connecting to faculty and students through creative programming,” McPheron said. “It will grow student internships and mentoring and disciplines as diverse as journalism and engineering and allow Ohio State to tie to the greater community through teacher workshops, summer camps, media creation and much more that we have yet to even imagine.”

So far, individual and corporate donors have committed more than $9.5 million of the “New Place. New Space. New Experience.” campaign goal, including previously announced foundational gifts from Andy and Sandy Ross, L Brands Foundation and American Electric Power Foundation.

“It’s really a reconnection to the community and reconnection to the Ohio State academic core,” Rieland said. “So that’s all important. Most of all, it’s really an affirmation of public media for the next hundred years in central Ohio. This is a commitment to public media that’s really important at this time.”