Facelift planned for OUS entrance

Published 9:54 am Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Demolition to begin next week on university owned residential homes

Ohio University Southern is awaiting the green light to go ahead with plans to improve the school’s grounds.

The plans would include additional parking spaces and a revamped front entrance, as well as landscaping and a new alternative form of storm water detention.

Adam Riehl, director of facilities management at OUS, said the improvement plan is pending the approval of the dean, Dr. Bill Willan, and the planning and design offices at the Athens campus as well as Willan’s superiors there.

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“It’s a need that we have identified and we would like to proceed with just as soon as the funding is available,” Riehl said.

Riehl said the plan would be like a facelift to the front door of the campus.

The main entrance along Liberty Avenue was constructed when the Collins Center was the only structure there.

“The reconfiguration of that entrance and auto-court area will be more centrally positioned between the Riffe and Collins buildings, Riehl said. “This is going to be a more centrally located entrance that will better meet our current needs and future expansions.”

The new parking lot addition will be to the south and east of the Collins Center and add about 50 more spaces.

“With the (new) parking lot, we’ll be incorporating a sustainable storm water management feature and a pervious concrete pavement area,” Riehl said. “It allows the water to filter down through the concrete section and stone base which provides a direct filter of the storm water and detains the storm water before it enters the storm sewers. It is a means of storm water detention as opposed to a typical detention pond.”

In preparation for the new entrance and parking lot, a demolition process was started this week to remove three residential homes that the university owns.

The homes, located at 1802, 1803 and 1812 Liberty Ave., are currently being abated of asbestos.

“Any asbestos that is in these older houses has to be removed and disposed of in accordance with Ohio EPA regulations, so we’re going through that process first,” Riehl said. “Once any hazardous materials have been properly disposed of, the actual demolition will begin.”

Demolition is scheduled for next week and, weather permitting, may be finished in one to two weeks. Riehl said the process shouldn’t take longer than one month and would not affect traffic at the intersection of Liberty Avenue and State Route 141.

“There is a possibility that our main entrance there near the Collins building could be closed intermittently during that period,” he said. “But we don’t plan to have permanent closure for any duration.”

If the main entrance closes, there are three other entrances to the campus, one on Liberty Avenue in front of the Shake Shop and two on Ninth Street near Ironton High School.