Phase I grand opening-1

Tours of Ohio University’s four new residence halls will be held during the Aug. 29 grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Photo courtesy of: Ohio University Division of Student Affairs

Phase I grand opening-2

The ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held at the new Living Learning Center.

Photo courtesy of: Ohio University Division of Student Affairs

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OHIO, Athens communities invited to grand opening, ribbon-cutting for new residence halls

Aug. 29 event to include ribbon-cutting, cake, tours

More than two years after Ohio University unveiled its three-phase Housing Development Plan, the University is ready to celebrate the completion of that plan’s first phase and the opening of four new residence halls and a living-learning center on the southern end of the Athens Campus.

Members of the OHIO and Athens communities are invited to a grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony for Phase I of the Housing Development Plan. Hosted by OHIO’s Division of Student Affairs, the event will begin with a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, outside the new Living Learning Center at 111 S. Green Drive across from the Ping Recreation Center. A portion of South Green Drive, from Adams Hall to University Terrace, will be closed beginning around 2:45 p.m. and lasting until about 3:30 p.m. to accommodate the ceremony.

Following the ribbon-cutting, the festivities will continue with cake and light refreshments, as well as a performance by the Singing Men of Ohio, inside the atrium of the Living Learning Center. Tours of the site will begin between 3:30 and 4 p.m.

Led by OHIO’s Division of Student Affairs and the Division of Finance and Administration, the Housing Development Plan is a three-phase initiative designed to improve the residential experience and the comprehensive living-learning environment on the Athens Campus. It includes the construction, renovation and demolition of residence halls that will continue over the next eight years as well as the creation of additional recreational and green spaces designed to link the campus’ East and South Greens with West Green and the upper campus. 

Phase I of the plan featured the construction of four new residence halls as well as the first-of-its-kind Living Learning Center on the former site of the Wolfe Street Apartments and adjacent lots. Work on the $110 million project began in the summer of 2013 and was completed this summer.

The new residence halls, which offer suite-style living throughout their more than 900 bedrooms, opened to first-year and returning students this past week. Those new residence halls are:

  • Carr Hall, located in the northwest corner of the Phase I site and named in honor of Arthur D. Carr, a graduate of Athens High School who is believed to be OHIO’s first black student-athlete and who went on to become a successful physician and Howard University Medical School professor
  • Luchs Hall, located in the southeast corner of the site and named in honor of Evelyn Coulter Luchs, an OHIO graduate who was voted the most outstanding student in 1927 and who went on to become the first woman appointed to the Ohio University Board of Trustees
  • Sowle Hall, located in the southwest corner of the site and named in honor of former OHIO President Claude R. Sowle who served the University from 1969 to 1974 during a tumultuous time that included the closing of the University in 1970 following riots after the Kent State shootings
  • Tanaka Hall, located in the northeast corner of the site and named in honor of Tomoyasu and Sumiko Tanaka. A member of OHIO’s physics and astronomy faculty from 1971 to 1989, Tomoyasu Tanaka is considered the father of the OHIO-Chubu relationship. Sumiko Tanaka co-founded and co-funded the Exchange Program for developmentally disabled and elderly citizens and frequently opened her home to exchange students.


The opening of these four new residence halls marks the completion of the largest residential housing boom to occur on the Athens Campus since the residence halls of Back South were opened in the fall of 1970.

Special grand opening event slated for students

The opening of Ohio University’s four new residence halls marks a historic moment for the University’s Department of Housing and Residence Life – and a reason to celebrate.

The department and its more than 300 staff members will be hosting a special grand opening event planned exclusively for Ohio University students from 7 to 10 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, in and around the new housing complex on South Green. 

This event, which is free and open to all OHIO students, will include a mobile zip line and a Skyfall stunt jump, provided by Phantom Entertainment; inflatables, courtesy of OHIO Athletics; Giant Checkers, Giant Battleship, Giant Jenga, other games, palmer readers and a fire show, provided by the Cincinnati Circus; wagon rides; a strolling magician; music; free food and much more.