Larkins Hall demolition begins Monday
COLUMBUS -- Demolition of 74-year-old Larkins Hall, 337 W. 17th Ave., will begin at 7 a.m. on Monday (7/18). Visible work, including knocking down brick, will begin at approximately 8 a.m. The complete demolition project will take about eight weeks and will ready the site for construction of the final phase of Ohio State's new student recreation facilities.
The Recreation and Physical Activities Center (RPAC) project is being conducted in four steps. The first part, the Adventure Recreation Center with climbing wall, opened in January (the outdoor adventure portion opened in September 2004). The second, the Rec Main building, is nearing completion and includes 25,000 square feet of fitness space, eight basketball courts, 10 racquetball courts, four multipurpose rooms, an indoor jogging track, meeting rooms and a cafè as well as other amenities. It also will house the Student Wellness Center. The third stage, a five-pool aquatics center, will open later in the fall.
The fourth portion, to be built on the site currently occupied by Larkins Hall, will house the School of Physical Activity and Educational Services (PAES), general classrooms, exercise laboratories, four basketball courts, four squash courts, a multi-purpose room, indoor golf hitting stations, putting greens and a chipping area.
The project also includes an all-weather turf field, which opened in April 2003 and is shared by Recreational Sports, PAES and the OSU Marching Band, and nine outdoor tennis courts that will open this fall. An additional six outdoor tennis courts and three new grass playing fields will open in 2007.
RPAC is a membership-based facility. All Columbus campus students enrolled for four or more credit hours pay an automatic fee, which entitles them to the use of all recreation facilities. RPAC is also available to faculty, staff, alumni, parents and affiliates who choose to purchase a membership.
Larkins Hall history
Originally called the Men's Gymnasium and Varsity Natatorium, the building opened in 1931. In 1971, the Larkins Hall addition was dedicated, adding a 50-meter pool, fitness space and an office suite. It was named for Richard Larkins, director of Ohio State athletics from 1947-1970. The facilities were heavily used over the years and by the early 1990s they were inadequate in size to serve the university community and also in need of significant repair and updating. Planning for RPAC began in 1994.