(From left) Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl and Ohio University President Roderick J. McDavis prepare to cut a ribbon signifying the official opening of the South Green Drive extension. Holding the ribbon to the right is OHIO Vice President of Finance and Administration Stephen Golding. Lacey Martin, assistant to the senior associate vice president for IT and administrative services, helped organized the event.

(From left) Athens Mayor Paul Wiehl and OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis prepare to cut the ribbon as OHIO Vice President of Finance and Administration Stephen Golding and event organizer Lacey Martin look on.

Photographer: Lauren Pond/Ohio University

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South Green Drive extension officially opens

Project includes naming of Rufus Street

A much anticipated construction project connecting South Green Drive to Mill Street on the northeast end of Ohio University’s Athens Campus officially opened with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on a chilly afternoon last week.

Dignitaries from OHIO and the City of Athens celebrated the project’s grand opening on Wednesday, Jan. 7, despite the cold temperatures, and furthered the ongoing partnership between the University and city.

“Today is just one more example of the goodwill that exists between the University and the city,” said OHIO President Roderick J. McDavis. “To take a step like this helps us from the standpoint of having another entrance into the University, and obviously helps transportation, but most importantly, I think it underscores the reliability that exists between Ohio University and the City of Athens.”

The partnership forged under Athens City Mayor Paul Wiehl’s leadership has included the creation of written memorandums of understanding between the city and University, which is something positive the University hopes to continue, McDavis said.

Wiehl said the project adds to the city’s vista, open space and views from the Hockhocking Adena Bike Path and Hocking River. “This is connectivity in cooperation with the University, and it opens up another avenue,” he said.

The project included naming the section of road from Stewart Street to the former New Life Assembly Church as Rufus Street. The newly constructed roadway from the former church to Mill Street is now South Green Drive, and a new bike path access point from Mill Street has been added.

The project was conceived as part of a broader city and University initiative surrounding Stimson Avenue, and includes thinking about how vehicles are managed on campus, said OHIO Vice President of Finance Stephen Golding.

“It is part of the goal of improving public safety and access to the campus in a variety of ways, and it is truly a partnership between the city and University as it relates to the various planning pieces that will happen probably over the next five or six years,” he said as he thanked city leadership and council members for their continued support.