08:01 AM

New images offer closer look at Ohio State’s planned Arts District

The Ohio State University Board of Trustees will see the newest vision of the university’s planned Arts District at a meeting of the Master Planning and Facilities Committee today.

New renderings of the Arts District highlight a renovated Weigel Hall, home of the School of Music, and a new building for the Department of Theatre featuring new performance spaces, modern recital halls and high-tech classrooms. The presentation comes as the university seeks approval to increase professional services and enter into construction contracts for the district.

“These facilities, located centrally and prominently near the Oval, will anchor the university’s ambitious new Arts District and reinforce our commitment to creative inquiry and performance,” said Peter L. Hahn, dean for arts and humanities in the College of Arts and Sciences. “This project will bring world-class spaces to our School of Music and Department of Theatre for teaching, learning and performance — all for the benefit of our students, our faculty and the Columbus community.”

The total project cost is $161.6 million, including $1.6 million from Ohio State Energy Partners. Ohio State is seeking board approval for the remaining design and construction cost of $146.6 million. Private fundraising is expected to support about $50 million of the cost of the project.

Pending approval by the trustees, construction will begin in June and the facility is expected to open in December 2021.

The Arts District is part of the long-term vision to open Ohio State’s front door to the heart of the University District at 15th Avenue and High Street. In addition to new homes for music and theatre, the district will host the new Moving-Image Production major under the Film Studies program.

Construction in the Arts District will include work to enhance roadway and pedestrian access.

“Momentum continues to build for our investment in the arts programs through these new facilities and the nearby 15+HIGH project led by Campus Partners,” said Keith Myers, vice president of Planning, Architecture and Real Estate.

“We envision this district as a centerpiece for the campus, and a place for the community to come together to engage the arts.”

The Arts District is part of Framework 2.0, a long-range plan for the physical environment of the Columbus campus guided and informed by Ohio State’s Time and Change strategic plan.

The new district is a complement to the 15+HIGH project on the east side of High Street. Campus Partners, the university-affiliated nonprofit, is leading the 15+HIGH construction.

The development includes a University Square, a new home for WOSU Public Media and development of a “signature building,” envisioned as a hotel, featuring direct sightlines to The Oval and William Oxley Thompson Library. A renovated Pearl Alley will serve as a retail corridor with new stores and restaurants.