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Master Plan Tour: Proposed projects

University Pavilion

University Pavilion

Projected completion date: January 2003

Anchoring the eastern end of MainStreet and replacing the now-leveled Beecher Hall adjacent to McMicken Commons will be University Pavilion, a six-story structure designed to offer one-stop service for all student enrollment and business transactions.

More plainly, University Pavilion will allow a first-day freshman to walk into a single building and walk out after seeing an academic adviser, scheduling classes, paying tuition and applying for financial aid. This customer-centered approach will finally address the most common rap against UC: red tape. The current clumsy system requires students to visit as many as 13 different offices to handle the administrative details of their education.

"University Pavilion will magically transform this place," says Mitchel Livingston, UC's vice president of student affairs and human resources.

University Pavilion will bring together the front-door functions of campus including admissions, enrollment, financial aid, course registration, fee payment, career development, academic advising and disability services. Designed as a welcome mat to campus, the facility will serve as a starting point for tours and will include a university museum, a visitors center complete with large-screen video displays and kiosks for students to access their information.


Tangeman University Center

Projected completion date: fall 2003

Tangeman University Center will undergo dramatic architectural changes. The outdated facility will be gutted and opened up to be more bright and inviting. The new building will envelop Tangeman Hall while retaining the historic facade facing McMicken Hall and preserving the cupola atop a clear, glass-like roof.

Entering from McMicken Commons, visitors will walk past the historic entry, through a transition space and into a sensational 90-foot high atrium where they can purchase convenience items or access UC's relocated bookstore. The current bookstore will be demolished and will reopen in the south wing of the new TUC in the spring of 2003, several months before the main building opens. A new 1,000-seat Great Hall will open near the new bookstore.

Planners hope the changes will spur more of a buzz of continuous activity, particularly in the lower levels of TUC, which will include a 250-seat theater/classroom, additional retail space, game rooms and a 400- to 600-seat food court that will offer pizza, burgers, ethnic food and the popular fare from Mr. Jim's. The upper floors will accommodate meeting rooms, study lounges and a place for large groups to gather.

Student Life Center

Student Life Center

Projected completion date: fall 2003

The new Student Life Center will stretch across the middle of campus, forming the backbone of commercial and student-service activity. Attached to the south side of a renovated Swift Hall, the unique long and narrow facility will more than double the current space for student organizations and activities.

The Student Life Center is the answer to students who wanted a mix of things to do at all hours. The arching structure will energize the urban core of campus with a 24-hour coffee shop, a 100-seat computer lab, a business center and a sandwich shop -- all at street level. Designers are banking on the energy of the building to spill outside onto the walkways, granite seatwalls, terraces and porches that will replace Campus Drive. The garden-like courtyards on the opposite side of the Student Life Center will create a more private setting for individuals or small group meetings.

The building will house Student Life, Student Government, Campus Wellness, Professional Practice, the Institute for Global Studies and Affairs, Ethnic Programs and Services, the News Record and the Women's Center.

Student Recreation Center

Student Recreation Center

Projected completion date: fall 2005

The largest of the proposed new buildings, the Student Recreation Center is a sweeping architectural form of glass and steel that will replace Laurence Hall. The multipurpose facility will include a gymnasium with four basketball courts, a lap pool, a leisure pool, a suspended running track, climbing walls, racquetball courts, several classrooms and fitness areas for weights, Nautilus, aerobics and martial arts. If all goes as campus planners hope, students, faculty and staff will cancel memberships in area health clubs and opt instead to stay on campus and use the rec center.

"You will be able to exercise almost anytime of the day," university architect Ron Kull says. "If you are on campus, you can take advantage of things you never took advantage of before. If you live right across the street, many of your needs are answered by coming back on campus."

After working out, users will be able to recharge at the combination pro-shop/convenience store/juice bar or enjoy a fresh-cooked meal at the 600-seat marché-style dining facility. The marché concept originated in France and involves a series of self-contained, cook-to-order kitchens where the chef uses only fresh ingredients. The top floor of the recreation building will be occupied by a 224-bed suite-style housing unit for upperclassmen.

Jefferson Residence Halls

Illustration/courtesy of KZF Incorporated

Jefferson Residence Halls

Projected completion date: fall 2002

Maybe the most important elements to a more active on-campus community are the expansion and improvement of the residential nature of campus.

Construction crews broke ground in January for three low-rise residence halls that will house about 580 students (mostly freshmen) along Jefferson Avenue on the site of the former tennis courts. The first new living quarters at UC in 30 years represent a commitment by the university to more comfortable apartment-style housing with more private space.

Soon after the Jefferson complex is complete, a new 500-bed private housing development is expected to open just off campus atop a parking garage between Calhoun and the track. That development will ease the current housing crunch for graduate students and their families. Added to the 224 suites (for upperclassmen) that will be built on top of the new recreation center, and students of all ages will have more than 1,200 brand new places to live within four years.

"The goal is to have first-class, quality housing," says Jim Tucker, UC's associate vice president of administrative services. "Our dorms should be something to attract students to the university."

Instead, UC's outdated and overcrowded dorms have been driving legions of students into off-campus housing. Some dormitories have as many as six students living in a two-bedroom unit. That and many other aspects of dorm life at UC are changing, including rates. The long-term housing plan calls for room and board for existing dorms to remain flat through 2004.

Tucker and his staff have proposed a 15-year $170 million investment in housing. And that doesn't include the $25 million privately funded development. Major renovations planned for the Sawyer and Scioto high-rise dorms (in 2005 and 2007 respectively) call for both facilities to be gutted and remodeled to resemble modern buildings with suite-style housing. The plan calls for Morgens, the third of the Three Sisters, to first serve as a swing building before being demolished in 2015. Dabney Hall, next to Shoemaker, will also be torn down, likely in 2003.

In existing dorms, the university has begun cutting back the number of residents to solve crowding issues and has begun extensive renovations by landscaping outside, replacing furniture, lighting and flooring in dorm rooms and purchasing big-screen televisions, new microwaves and color coordinated furniture for lounge areas. UC also hired Aramark as a new food service provider and implemented a Bearcat debit card that allows students more options for buying meals around campus. Debit card readers will also be installed in all buildings for vending machines, copiers and laundry equipment.