Trustees approve North Residential District transformation
As a continuation of its commitment to enhance the student experience and provide additional support for on-time degree completion, The Ohio State University Board of Trustees approved a comprehensive $396 million plan to transform the North Residential District. This will create a dynamic living environment, increasing the number of beds and adding new dining, recreation and support facilities. This new environment will expand the second-year residential experience and be designed to lead to higher graduation and retention rates and improved student engagement.
“We know that students who live in the residence halls for two years have significantly higher second-year retention and graduation rates than those who have never lived on campus,” said Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee. “We are creating another exceptional living environment, complementing work already underway in the South Residential District, incorporating the elements of student success, programmatic needs, architectural innovation, and student and faculty interaction.”
In April, the Board of Trustees approved a pilot of the programmatic components of a second-year experience which includes individual development modules with applications for career growth and global citizenry, increased faculty engagement and mentorship, and a $2,000 stipend program to increase student participation in experiential education opportunities.
“To allow this innovative second-year experience to achieve its full potential, it has become clear that facilities improvements must be integrated with program innovations,” said Ohio State Provost Joseph A. Alutto. “Over the past year, as the program elements have been redesigned, a feasibility study was conducted to look at the opportunities to enhance the North Residential District. With this program, Ohio State will set the bar nationally through the development of an innovative second-year experience and the construction of the facilities to support that experience.”
The total project budget of $396 million will be funded through bonds and university reserve funds. Any increase in room rates will be capped at a maximum of six percent annually, which is in line with recent increases and well within the increases of many peer institutions.
About 3,200 new bed spaces would be added to the North Residential area, bringing the total to 6,359. The first phase of construction would begin by July 2013 with 1,600 new/renovated beds completed by June 2015. The second phase of construction – involving an additional 1,600 beds – would begin in July 2014 and be completed by June 2016.