Safety, beautification goals of OUS project

Published 9:34 am Friday, July 6, 2012

(ABOVE) Crews from Waibel Electric Company, Inc., and Karr Construction have been on scene at the entrance of Ohio University Southern since mid June as they work to reconstruct the parking lot. (BELOW) A crew member from Karr is seen working.


The entrance to Ohio University Southern’s Ironton campus will offer a new and more colorful look when this fall’s students arrive on campus.

About a month ago, contractors started work on the $750,000 renovation of Dingus Circle in front of the Collins Center to widen and beautify the area.

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“The little circle was a very cramped space and it presented some financial dangers for accidents,” OUS Dean Bill Willan said. “People backing out often had a hard time, if there was any level of traffic.”

Now the project will widen the area in front of Collins, add a second lane to the entrance roadway into the campus and increase the amount of parking at that area.

“Students signing up for the first time or visitors to the campus with the parking lot on the left, that will be very convenient,” Willan said.

Landscaping for the project will include brandywine maple trees in a cluster grouping near the Riffe Center.

“They get a nice cherry red fall color,” Adam Riehl, director of facilities management, said. “They are a smaller maple and are not going to get really big.”

The drive into the campus will be lined with red oaks.

“We realized we didn’t have any oak trees,” Riehl said. “We wanted to insert that species on the grounds and in the parking lot. And near the covered walkway between Collins and Riffe we will have a tree commonly known as a ginkgo tree. It is a really lightweight tree with not heavy foliage. It is really nice for use for the parking lot where you don’t want that canopy effect.”

Funding for the project came from an appropriation from the state’s capital budget with Karr Construction as the general contractor. Completion is scheduled for the end of August or first two weeks of September.

“This will be another step in making the entry way much more attractive as well as addressing safety issues and increasing traffic flow,” Willan said.