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NEWS ARTICLES

OHIO UNIVERSITY - CHILLICOTHE

 

2019 News Bennett Hall
January 11, 2019 : Dean Tuck provides update on the campus Academic Success Center project

 

During a recent breakfast meeting for community members and financial supporters of OHIO Chillicothe, OHIO Chillicothe Dean Martin Tuck provided an update on the campus’ Academic Success Center project. The Academic Success Center is a $2.8 million renovation project which looks to modernize the student experience. The project also plans to address handicap accessibility issues, aid nursing mothers attending class and expand on student gathering spaces.

 

The Academic Success Center Project began fundraising in 2012 as part of Ohio University’s Promise Lives capital campaign. The Ohio University Board of Trustees approved the project in spring of 2017, but actual planning began later in the year. Legat Architects of Columbus OH was assigned the task of creating the project design, which was completed in fall of 2018. Construction work is set to go out to bid shortly with construction set to begin over the summer 2019.

 

Dean Tuck commented on the project, addressing the changing face of higher education at the regional campus level. “The way students learn now is much different than what is was 10, 15, 20 years ago. Just looking at online education, we can see that pretty much every student today is taking at least one online course.” Tuck also discussed the responsibilities many students have outside of their education, such as work, family, etc. Dr. Tuck stated that these responsibilities can hinder students from physically coming to a classroom, which is why many students need another way to finish their education.

 

After a year of gathering input from staff, faculty and students, top priority changes were determined for the project. The most important improvement is the planned expansion of student gathering and group study spaces into Bennett Hall. Dean Tuck addressed the changing classroom environment from individual work to group-based work, stating that students are encouraged to work and study together. Bennett Hall’s current lack of student areas has also created issues in poor weather months, as students can be commonly seen sitting in the hallways of Bennett Hall trying to work on their laptops in order to avoid the weather conditions outside. The expansion plans to resolve the issue by adding six new study areas across both Bennett Hall and the Stevenson Center. The expansion will also include access to more computer stations.

 

Another significant expansion is the creation of a lactation room in Bennett Hall. 47 percent of OHIO Chillicothe’s roughly 2,000-student population is made up of non-traditional students, some of which are nursing mothers. The room will provide mothers with a permanent available space which contains plumbing and water facilities.

 

Other priorities in the renovation project include an update to the math and writing tutoring space, creation of a media room for faculty and student use, fusion of student services offices into a single location, formation of a faculty commons area and Stevenson Center restroom remodeling which is compatible with Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.


Around $130,000 toward the expansion was raised through fundraising, with the rest of the funding coming from state capital and university fund sources.

 

Chris Balusik of the Chillicothe Gazette contributed information for this article.